“Those we spoke to on Main Street see it as another convenience for visitors to come and enjoy,” he said.
On Saturday afternoon on Fifth Street in the Oregon District in downtown Dayton, several people were enjoying the designated outdoor refreshment area.
Kristan and Tim Barczack, both residents of Beavercreek, said they have visited the area several times on Saturday afternoon since the start of summer.
“It’s just fun to be outside, to take a walk,” he said.
The sign for the Outdoor Consumption Zone in the Oregon District. Eileen McClory / Staff
These areas provide a much needed boost to local businesses in the area, said Holly Allen, director of marketing and communications for the Dayton Chamber of Commerce. Designated drinking zones add another level of entertainment, she said, although customers should always be responsible.
“Encouraging people to come out and explore the neighborhood is a great way to attract customers,” Allen said. “We’ve been closed for so long … it just provides a great excuse for people to come out and explore.”
Ken and Cynthia Arndt rode their bikes through the Oregon District on Saturday, July 3. Eileen McClory / Staff
While many cities choose to introduce these zones, some communities remain opposed. Residents of Yellow Springs rejected the idea, according to village manager Josué Salmerón.
“People were worried about people walking around with drinks in hand, maybe drunk, and what that behavior creates in a community,” he said.
Many local businesses in Yellow Springs have spoken out against the idea as well, Salmerón said.
“A lot of companies just weren’t in favor,” he said. “The key companies were against it. They had their reasons, some claimed it didn’t contribute to the family feel of Yellow Springs.
According to Emily Mendenhall, owner of Lily’s Bistro and vice president of the Oregon District Business Association in the Oregon district of downtown Dayton, the establishment of the outdoor consumption zone has been beneficial for all parties involved.
“It is a remarkable, overwhelming success,” she said. “We have a very diverse community… It’s a rare thing that we all agree that something is generally a good thing. The overwhelming majority of our businesses are in favor of it and see it as an advantage. “
Ruth Schultz, who was also in the Oregon District on Saturday, said she liked the outdoor drinking zone. There is a good atmosphere, she said.
But, she said she had mixed feelings about it and worried that people who would otherwise be there would not feel welcome.
“It feels like it’s gentrifying the neighborhood,” Schultz said.
Designated outdoor refreshment areas in our region:
Bellefontaine – Logan County
Cincinnati – Hamilton County
Dayton Oregon District – Montgomery County
Township of Deerfield. – County of Warren
Fairborn – Greene County
Greeneville – Darke County
Hamilton – Butler County
Lebanon – Warren County (recently expanded DORA borders)