Contrary to what some may think, a new downtown Entertainment District Center (EDC) designation — one which can be activated at certain times and in places — won’t likely lead to an abundance of drunks walking around with open alcohol containers at all hours of the day and night.
In fact, these are the same naysayers who were equally adamant that Sunday alcohol sales would lead to a similar fate — something that remains to be seen in the year since the city and county approved sales on Sundays during a specified window.
Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control, the board that grants the license for an EDC designation, would give the city the power to decide when and where open alcohol containers are permitted.
In recent weeks, four local business and tourism groups — Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission; Downtown Frankfort Inc.; the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce; and Kentucky Capital Development Corp. — have thrown their support behind the designation. As do we.
Over the past few years, the capital city has been slowly branding itself into a bourbon tourist destination, hoping to better cash in on the record 1.4 million people who visited Kentucky distilleries in 2018. If we want to truly consider ourselves contenders for bourbon tourism dollars, we must embrace the industry that brings folks to Frankfort.
Last week’s completion of a marker that points in the direction of and lists the mileage to more than 30 Kentucky bourbon distilleries was another step in the right direction. No matter whether you love or hate the 22-foot-tall marker, showing 15 distilleries within a 20-minute drive of the capital city, it serves as a silent reminder that Frankfort is the heart of bourbon country.
The four business and tourism advocacy boards have forwarded their recommendations for an EDC designation to the city commission for consideration this month. If the city's application is approved, the commissioners will craft an ordinance outlining the parameters of the district. While the cost of the license is $2,577, we believe the economic benefit is priceless.