The Kentucky Capital Development Corp. board voted Tuesday to send a letter to Frankfort city commissioners in support of the city's pursuit of an "entertainment district" designation.
The designation, which is given by Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control, allows certain open alcohol containers in specific areas during certain times. The move would bring Frankfort events like the Downtown Summer Concert series into compliance with state law.
The show of support received four votes, as board members Houston Barber and Zachary Horn were not present.
KCDC Director Terri Bradshaw told board members that the area in question is from Mero Street to Second Street and from High Street to the Kentucky River. She said that the whole area would have the designation but that some details, such as hours when the designation will be effective, will be at the discretion of the city. Mayor Bill May and Commissioner Eric Whisman were at the meeting and said that the city had not discussed those details as of Tuesday.
KCDC's support comes after Downtown Frankfort Inc. sent its own letter in support. In addition to working with DFI, KCDC is working with the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce to support the entertainment district designation, Bradshaw said. Chamber President Carmen Inman said in an email that the Chamber board has already voted and sent its letter to the city.
"It just allows our streets to be activated. It puts people on the street," Bradshaw said. "Rather than having to sit inside contained, they are allowed to walk out in the street, window shop, go from establishment to establishment."
Bradshaw said that an entertainment district designation will make downtown seem more full and vibrant to people who might just be driving through downtown. The move would also be a good recruitment tool for businesses like breweries to come into the area, she said.
Currently, some downtown businesses pay the state for a license to sell alcohol on their patios and sidewalks until 10 p.m.
Other Kentucky cities, like Owensboro, Maysville and Covington, have entertainment district designations.