There have been a number of arguments for and against the proposition to close some downtown Charleston bars at midnight. Though the rationale may be flawed, there are a number of advantages to the city of Charleston and it’s citizens if this proposal passes.
- By the end of 2015, there will be potentially 15 new hotels in Charleston County.
- Between 2012 and 2013, 1100 new flights were added to Charleston a International Airport.
- Mount Pleasant was ranked by the US Census as the 9th fastest growing US city with a population over 50,000 with a growth rate of 4.5%.
- Increases in tourism will drive revenue in retail, dining and hospitality.
- Charleston is going through a cultural evolution. When O’Malley’s closed last month, a quote was made that it is making room for another high end restaurant in the new upper class upper King.
- Charleston is not new to cultural evolution. We have seen 4 AM bar closures and a time when all liquor was served from airplane bottles. We are veterans of change. From rebuilding after the Civil War to great fires to hurricanes, Charleston is resilient and that is the strength and charm of this city.
Over the last three years, periodicals like Conde Nast have put Charleston on the world stage opening eyes to the historic beauty, Southern charm and friendly hospitality we are known for. With its far stretching beauty, the city of Charleston and its surrounding areas remind us that Heaven on Earth is a real place.
There are several reasons the 12 AM bar close proposal makes sense in a positive way for downtown Charleston
- It does not affect the entire city of surrounding towns. Most businesses will have the option to thrive into the late hours of the evening.
- With the additional evening hours, waste management has the opportunity to remove waste / garbage from the streets so that as the sun rises, citizens, students and tourists can walk the streets free of garbage and bad odor.
- Charlestons has and will continue to see population growth and increased tourist traffic. This could hinder the beauty and historic simplicity this town has come to love. Having a forward thinking approach to this growth and taking a small step to maintain the level of elegance and charm that makes us special is important for every person that walks the cobble stone roads. We are a proud city built on traditional values. This is a small sacrifice to make to maintain a very special piece of Americana.
- The growth in hotels, new businesses and restaurants will generate significant revenue growth for Charleston and thus two hours less from a select number of bars will not have a detrimental impact on the Charleston economy.
Take a step back and look at the proposition. Don’t think of it in terms of black and white. Think about the future of this truly blessed city. At the end of the day, it is not the bars, restaurants or stores that define this city; it is the people, the tapestry of architecture and nature and the history that paint a picture that has people coming back for more.