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Montgomery County’s Nighttime Economy Task Force Seeks Solutions in Six Months

Officials want to brand the county as a place to live and play for all ages.

Relaxing liquor laws, later last calls for bars and restaurants and more nightlife businesses around Metro stations are just some of the solutions a Montgomery County task force is considering to pump up the county's nighttime economy.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) addressed the 20-member group at its first meeting Monday in Silver Spring, Bethesda Now reported.

While most people like the idea of improving the county's nighttime economy, they might not like what it means, Leggett said.

"People say, ‘I like the benefits of that, but I don’t want to deal with the practical effects of that,’” he said, Bethesda Now reported.

Click here to read the article on Bethesda Now.

In convening the group earlier this month, Leggett issued a statement explaining its initial task.

“A thriving nighttime economy is an opportunity to enhance Montgomery’s attractiveness to all generations, businesses and visitors," Leggett said in a statement. "In its first phase, the focus will be on Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, Germantown and Wheaton.”

Leggett created the group after finding out that the county’s demographics were changing—with the young professionals remaining level but the number of retirees increasing, the Washington Examiner reported.

Click here to read the article in the Examiner.

The group has six months to address seven areas, based on goals from the Responsible Hospitality Institute, a nonprofit group formed to promote legal and social awareness programs for the hospitality industry. The areas are:

  • Arts and Entertainment.
  • Business engagement.
  • Public use and amenities.
  • Quality of life.
  • Transportation.
  • Public Safety.
  • Venue operations and safety.
jag May 25, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Easy fix #1: Re: the new Scion opening... "Bar manager Tim Liu has taken advantage of D.C.'s lax alcohol laws to stock the Dupont restaurants with out-of-market beers from breweries like Colorado's Funkwerks and Oregon's Oakshire and Gigantic. But because of Montgomery County's more stringent regulations, he describes the current list of 12 drafts and 35 bottles as "a work in progress" and expects to have the bottle list up to 60 by the end of the month." How on earth does MoCo have a law on the books that somehow limits "out-of-market" beers??? What idiocy. It's remarkable it's taken this long to wake up and bring about common sense changes. Not that you need a freakin task force to tell you how dumb MoCo is about alcohol restrictions, but oh well. Better late than never. GET IT DONE, COUNTY COUNCIL.
Craig May 25, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Can't believe I find myself agreeing with jag, but hey! First time for everything! MoCo has a retail liquor law (where the county controls all sales) FROM THE PROHIBITION ERA. Now, that's what I call true "progress" - don't you?
Craig May 25, 2013 at 03:17 PM
MoCo is an old gray lady compared to Arlington, DC and Fairfax and Leggett knows it. Downtown Silver Spring has literally 2 dive bars and a few larger, mass-market stops. It is a huge yawner. As a young person (25) I'd much rather spend my time and money in Arlington and DC and will continue to do so. I seriously doubt anything gets done by the "working group" of das communistas. Oh, and Piratz? How is it still open?
jag May 25, 2013 at 04:12 PM
It's a miracle. Beer unites all.

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