DAYTON, Ky. — Dayton community leaders are looking to make the city more attractive to visitors as they recently announced plans to move forward with creating an entertainment district through part of the city.
“We want to allow people to come to the city and frequent bars, restaurants, all along our business district,” said City Administrator Jay Fossett.
Fossett says earlier this week, the city council met and approved an ordinance that would do just that.
The ordinance will allow for the creation of an entertainment district in Dayton — a part of the city where pedestrians can carry alcoholic beverages in approved cups around to visit businesses that locate there.
This entertainment district would begin at O’Fallon Avenue and extend down 6th Avenue to Main Street, with sections of Berry Avenue and Monument Park included.
Fossett says the entertainment district will be called The Rope Walk, a name that draws on some of the city’s history.
“We are a historic town that really used to be an important manufacturer for steamboat products and one of the things they manufactured were the ropes they used on the steamboats,” he explained. “These would be rope walks and would be basically be three or four blocks long, where they’d bring hemp together and wind it all up and make ropes.”
City officials say tentative dates for the start of the district will be some time at the end of April 2023.
Drew Rath, who owns the Tuba Baking Company, thinks it could be a good thing for business.
“I think it’s going to help everything on the entire stretch of road here,” Rath said.
His business brings the taste of southwest Germany to Dayton. He thinks their business would do well as a result of The Rope Walk entertainment district.
“We have a lot of just German beers, German liquors, German wines, and we want everybody to be able to enjoy us, so we think it’s great that they’ll be able to grab something across the street maybe and come over with their family,” Rath said.
Fossett said this kind of project is something they’ve seen other local cities do. The goal is to make sure they attract people to the area and send some love to businesses in a safe, organized manner.
“What we talked about the other night in city council was, let’s give it a shot. If it’s a problem, we can always go back to the way it was before,” he said.
City leaders say businesses selling alcohol to customers who are visibly intoxicated may have their license to sell revoked by the city. They also say they’ll be working with small businesses moving forward to prepare for any and all changed that come with an entertainment district ordinance.