Dayton gives final approval for Entertainment Destination Center

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In a 5 to 1 decision, Dayton City Council gave the final approval for an Entertainment Destination Center at their latest meeting.

The entertainment district is set to cover the area from O Fallon Avenue and 6th Avenue to Main Street, allowing Bellevue residents to cross into Dayton while visiting the district and vice versa.

Licensed businesses within the district area will be selling alcoholic beverages in cups with the Rope Walk entertainment district branding, which will be supplied by the city. Between 10 p.m. and midnight Monday through Sunday, visitors will be able to carry these cups on sidewalks, in outdoor areas, and into other shops, restaurants and bars inside the district.

Alcohol from inside the entertainment district cannot be brought outside of its perimeters, nor can alcohol from outside be brought into the district, according to regulations approved at the March 7 meeting.

The regulations also state that local laws on public intoxication will still apply to the entertainment district, and businesses may refuse to sell alcohol to customers who are visibly intoxicated.

To avoid the possibility of customers reusing the branded cups for their own alcohol, the city council adds that purchased cups are for one-time use only and must be discarded at the end of the evening. The cups must be properly disposed of as littering will be strictly prohibited in the entertainment district.

The city council considers the entertainment district an opportunity to create more revenue for Dayton, especially in comparison with neighboring Bellevue that sees a greater number of businesses. The district could also be a place for Dayton residents to connect and exchange ideas.

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Councilmember Jessica Lovins, the sole dissenting member, said that while she supports the businesses and drinking outdoors, she disagrees with the idea of customers throwing the drinks away as they prepare to leave and repeating the gesture.

Support for the entertainment district is found among some Dayton citizens, but not all.

Becky Mays, a lifelong Dayton resident, vehemently opposes it.

At the meeting, Mays disapproved of the decision to encourage the sale of alcohol while banning cigarettes, stating that alcohol can cause health, domestic and social issues.

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