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New rules now in effect are set to have a major impact on downtown Orlando nightlife this weekend

Major new rules have came into effect for downtown Orlando bars which are set to drastically impact your next night out in downtown.

Orlando City Council approve new policy that's set to drastically impact downtown Orlando

In a week that should see downtown Orlando's bars and clubs busy with people celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Friday and the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, there is fears that many businesses will not be able to open past midnight.

Back on Monday, March 20, Orlando City Council approved an ordinance on after midnight alcohol sales that came into effect today, May 1, 2023.

The new rules means that bars and clubs will have to close at midnight unless they pay for a special permit and implement new security measures.

The ordinance requires all clubs and bars that sells alcohol between midnight and 2 am to obtain a new permit at the cost of $250, they must also have metal detectors and ID scanners, plus they will be required to pay for police officers to provide security on the weekends.

The additional security will amount to 30 police officers who will patrol outside bars and clubs, and will be separate from active officers who are on regular duty.

Orlando City Council say that these new measures will help curb disorder and violence, making downtown a safety place, but bar and club owners are very concerned about the additional costs, and what effect this will have on their businesses, not to mention the backlog of applications that have yet to be approved by the council.

City officials said on Friday that only 28 out of 61 applicants had been approved for the new permit, and with these new measures now in place, unless the city speeds up the permit application process, many bars and clubs will have to close at midnight on what should be very busy weekend ahead.

Plus, in addition to the permit delays, there is genuine fears that the extra financial burden that will add tens of thousands of dollars per year to each businesses costs, will be an extra expense that will drive many out of business.

Monica McCown, vice president of Orlando Hospitality Alliance, fears the new rule will severely impact many downtown businesses.

McCown commented “It’s important we protect our guests and the people in downtown Orlando, but it’s important that we protect our businesses as well, and when we’re working together, we can find ways to protect everyone without harming the small businesses.”

Of course everyone wants a safe downtown, but with this new financial burden many smaller bars and clubs could go out of business, changing downtown Orlando's nightlife dramatically.

Orlando City Council approve policy that's set to drastically impact downtown Orlando's nightlife

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