Viewers Voice: Boozing and browsing comes with regulations for businesses
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Oct. 11, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 11, 2013
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - City leaders are working on a way to let people walk the streets of downtown Fort Myers with their drink of choice in hand. With the success of events like Artwalk, some think the plan would make the River District more enjoyable and could become more of an "entertainment" district.
The ordinance would come with some regulations. Any business owner who serves alcohol would be required to hire extra security staff. Also, there would be a mandatory search of all patrons including their bags and purses for concealed weapons.
While business owners want to keep the momentum going downtown, they worry the security policy could hurt them.
"Nobody wants to go to a nice upscale bar and be frisked and body searched to enter and this is part of their proposed ordinance which in my book really makes no sense," said Nils Richter, property owner.
Frank from Fort Myers doesn't mind open containers but agrees the safety measure turns him off. "I do however mind if I'm going to be examined going into an establishment and possibly have my second amendment rights violated. If I'm carrying a gun legally it's nobody's business."
Lucy wrote on Facebook, "It would be a positive thing...walking with a drink downtown is part of the tropical feel."
"People spilling drinks on you on a crowded street is not my idea of a great time. Keep it in the bars," wrote Joyce.
Mark posted, "Maybe during special events only..."
City of Fort Myers staff said if there isn't a clear consensus with downtown business leaders on creating an entertainment district, they won't push the agenda forward to the city council.