Entertainment districts in Fort Collins may give freedom to have open containers in sectioned areas

Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 20:55:09-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- It's no secret the nightlife in old town Fort Collins is thriving.

But one developer and a pair of downtown Fort Collins bar owners are hoping to add to the downtown’s social appeal.

The group is looking into seeking an entertainment district license as made legal in Colorado in 2011, by petitioning the city to allow the group to block off a certain portion of the downtown area and allow open containers within that area.

These areas would allow patrons to buy their drink at one location and walk around with that beverage into an adjacent business.

The city of Fort Collins said, in order to be successful, a group seeking this type of license would have to follow some very specific guidelines.

A city spokesperson said before city council would look at any plans, there would have to be very specific boundaries, hours and security staffing planned out, and the establishments would have to all be directly across one another in a common area or next door neighbors.

“What we sell is just our product and what we want to do is be able to give that to people who maybe are with other people that just want to hit the distillery up," said Peteros Creek owner Steve Jones. "If they can have both of them at the same time, sit at the same table, I think that’s a good thing.”

Others Denver7 spoke with believe that with the proper regulations in place, it could be a positive addition to the city.

“I think it would be a good thing for the area, especially...just all the growing restaurants and businesses in Fort Collins. It might help all the businesses partner together and build a stronger community, and then just letting guests have a fun time," said Jamie Rasmussen, who frequents downtown Fort Collins.

As for safety concerns, Fort Collins police tell Denver7 they’re not sure if extra patrols would be needed.

Police said their increased presence in those areas would solely depend on the structure of the entertainment district and how well it's secured from crime and underage drinkers.

“If you don't drink beer, you don't go hang out at Cooper Smith's, you can't come down and have a mimosa at Yeti. Or you have a water; that's fine too. You can walk around with your water as well," said Chynna Shipp, who recently moved to Fort Collins.

A timeline for how soon this district could be created hasn’t been set.  The city tells Denver7 no formal proposal has been brought to it yet.


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.