by John Heiney, Community Outreach Manager, City of Prescott
The City of Prescott has added another tool to support its vibrant downtown. City Council recently unanimously approved the creation of an entertainment district in a defined area, about one-half square-mile centered by the downtown. The entertainment district designation will give the city more flexibility to approve entertainment-based businesses within the district, creating a more business-friendly environment, and encouraging new business concepts.
Specifically, the new entertainment district will give the City of Prescott the flexibility to recommend approval of certain establishments – governed by Arizona liquor licensing laws – located within 300 feet of a church or school, on a case-by-case basis.
The district (see map), is about one-half square-mile, and encompasses the downtown. The area is bounded roughly by Sonora Drive and Granite Creek to the north to Aubrey Street on the south, Sixth and Alarcon streets to the east , then Summit Avenue and McCormick Street to the west.
State statute defines an entertainment district as, “a specific contiguous area that is designated an entertainment district by resolution adopted by the governing body of a city or town, that consists of no more than one square-mile, that is not less than one-eighth of a mile in width and that contains a significant number of entertainment, artistic and cultural venues, including music halls, concert facilities, theaters, ….. museums, studios, galleries, restaurants, bars and other related facilities.”
Downtown Prescott features a wide variety of these types of venues, including the Whiskey Row, Elk’s Theatre, Sharlot Hall Museum, the Prescott Center for the Arts, and ’Tis Gallery by way of example.
Kendall Jaspers, Director of the Prescott Downtown Partnership, said the entertainment district is well-placed.
“I think it’s the right place to be — in the heart of Prescott near the iconic Courthouse Plaza, which is recognized across the country as being unique among American cities,” Jaspers said.
“This aligns well with the council’s strategic goal to create an arts and entertainment district in the downtown,” said City Manager Michael Lamar. “The entertainment district designation can lead to enhanced marketing, master-planning initiatives and increased opportunities to support the development of downtown Prescott as a destination for visitors and residents alike.”