The Lansing City Council has taken steps to help businesses in the downtown area bring in more customers and grow their business. I did an article a couple weeks ago and so did 97.5 Now FM about alcohol social districts coming to downtown areas in several Michigan cities, now Lansing is the latest to embrace this idea. Monday night the Lansing City Council approved social districts for Lansing.
“Last year when the legislature passed the law that allowed social districts to be created by local governments, I took a look at it and said ‘this is something that I think we should bring to Lansing,’” Lansing City Council President Peter Spadafore said. There are three proposed areas, REO Town, Old Town, and Downtown including Rotary Park and part of the River Trail, where these districts could open. “We have 33 businesses that are eligible in these districts to participate in this, so that’s 33 places where residents and visitors can go to have a drink, have a meal, share time outdoors with family and friends,” Spadafore said.
While this social district idea does not directly affect establishments that don’t have a liquor license, they will still see an increase in traffic from people coming into the social districts. With all of the challenges these small businesses have struggled with in the past year, they believe fresh ideas like this will bring out those who have been sheltering at home for the past year. That makes a lot of sense as most of us are looking for opportunities to participate in some normal activities. And with the new guidelines from the CDC, vaccinated people will not have to wear masks outdoors, and that feels like some normalcy is returning to life.
Downtown Lansing businesses and the city council think this idea will be a financial benefit for our city. The final step, approval from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission could come anytime. They are ready to get these districts up and running asap, once they do the hours of operation will be 9am to 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 9am to 12am Friday and Saturday.
Another good reason for us to get out and socialize. Be safe and enjoy.
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