With downtown Frankfort on its way to creating an entertainment destination center (EDC), which would allow open alcoholic beverages within certain downtown parameters at specific times, two nearby communities are thirsting to follow suit.

At the July 8 city commission work session, the proposal, which involves applying for an EDC license from Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) for a large swath of downtown, garnered overwhelming support from business and property owners who spoke during the public-comment portion of the meeting.

Four 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 also backed the plan.

The city commission has yet to vote on the issue, although each member vocally supported the initiative at the July work session. The 30-day window for citizens to comment in writing on the proposal is coming to a close.

After reviewing public feedback, city leaders will decide whether to submit an application and $2,577 for a license from ABC. Should the city commission pass the measure, it would need to craft language and guidelines for an ordinance setting the district’s boundaries.

In these pages, we have touted the economic impact such a designation could have on the downtown area and apparently we aren’t the only ones paying attention.

On Monday, the Midway City Council tentatively decided rules and identified an area for a similar “open carry ordinance.” Leaders, who seem to be in favor of approving the measure, will vote later this month, the Midway Messenger reported. The Versailles City Council recently adopted an EDC ordinance that allows the mayor to set and change the dates when the center is in effect.

If Frankfort leaders are serious about branding the capital city as a bourbon tourist destination and truly want to cash in on the record number of visitors who are stopping at distilleries across the state, approving an EDC ordinance is a step in the right direction.

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