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Ybor nightclubs fight city push for 21-and up | Business

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Ybor nightclubs fight city push for 21-and up
Ybor nightclubs fight city push for 21-and up

Tampa, FL -- The City of Tampa's effort to restrict all nightclub customers to 21-and up is drawing fire from several Ybor City establishments.

The idea of doing away with allowing 18 to 20-year old patrons in some nightclubs was brought up last fall and discussed this week during a city council workshop.

Below is from an email sent out by Carrie West, the President of GaYBOR District Coalition expressing his opposition to the proposal.

"What Restrictions is the city proposing on nightclubs?:

1.  All nightclubs are restricted to patrons 21 and up only

  • Not allowing 18-20 year old adults in a controlled safe venue, pushes them to seek other non-controlled unsafe environments. This is not a solution, but rather creates new problems and issues. Many adults 18-20 will simply line the streets, or drive around to uncontrolled, and unmonitored areas to find parties.

2.  One member of each nightclub staff be certified by the Tampa Fire Department for Crowd Control.

  • This is something that has been in the works. We support this advance in safety and have been proactive in certifying. We do encourage all members of our community to be proactive in the safety of our guests

3.  All security staff must become certified with the state as a Security Officer in order to work for a nightclub.

  • Security staff should not have to be state certified to work or incur additional fees just to work. This does not only seem unfair but may hamper the clubs ability to keep you safe when needing extra security staff.

4.  Every nightclub regardless of location or current grandfathered status will be required to hire Off-Duty Police Officers. The number of officers will be based on the occupancy of the business.
For example, Czar Nightclub in Ybor City has a capacity of 1050 people, that would mean a required 5 officers @ $35/hour for 5 hours PLUS 1 Sergeant @ $41/hour for 5 hours. (more for Holidays and Special Events) That would cost Czar at a minimum $1080 per night... $3240 per week... $168,500+ per year!!! There is no way nightclubs can afford this regulation. (TPD currently bills out 17,300 Off-Duty hours to private businesses every month!)

  • We feel this is legalized extortion and will put many, if not all of Tampa's nightclubs out of business or at the very least will increase the cost of cover charges and drink prices for patrons.

What is considered a nightclub?

A. They want to "define" a nightclub in one of two ways:

  • 1. A business that: charges cover or requires drink minimum or
  • 2. A business that satisfies 3 out of 4 of these: holds over 250 people, is open past 11, has a dance floor, advertises DJs or bands

These options could redefine businesses like The Tampa Theatre, The Columbia Restaurant, Green Iguana, The Italian Club, Carmine's, bowling alleys, skating rinks, Zendah Grotto, Tampa Yacht Club as "nightclubs"
B. They want to then require businesses defined as "nightclubs" to purchase yet another annual permit from the City that allows the business to operate as a nightclub...a permit which can be revoked for a series of possible violations.

What should we do?
Fight for Your Right to Party!!
The City of Tampa is moving to take away your rights by redefining "nightclubs" and enforcing expensive and absurd regulations that will force many venues out of business!
We need your help...
We need your voices and your opinions at The City Council Nightclub Regulation Workshop,
Thursday May 24 at 9 a.m.
Join us in this fight!
Let's not allow the City Of Tampa to become just another non forward thinking city with absolutely zero alternatives to our nightlife, and to put financial distress on nightclub businesses and their affiliates / friends that wish to stay open past 11pm, just because everyone doesn't understand how important our scene, music, and friendships are to us.
And this is exactly why our voice not only needs to be heard, but it needs to be heard in a very educated and intelligent manner. Let's not let The City make 18-20 year old adults look silly people from "footloose". This is not our agenda.
1. We need to stay educated on the intentions of our elected officials, their workshops, meetings and votes. We need to make our voices heard, in numbers at these gatherings, online, as well as through our knowledgeable voice.
2. We need to tell officials that we do not need them to tell us, as adults, where we can or can not go. We have earned our rights, paid our taxes, and work hard every day to be able to blow off some steam on the dance floor.
3. We need to stress on these officials that they work for us, they are elected, their pay is from our tax dollars, and that we care about how their so-called harmless intentions will put a very large scar in Tampa's already distressed economy."

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