Downtown Businesses Plan for Entertainment Districts in Fall

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Most downtown Huntsville businesses agree that the newly established Arts and Entertainment Districts have been wildly successful this summer.  However, many are wondering what will when the leaves start to turn and the weather gets chilly. Local business managers we talked with said that the future still looks bright.

"I said tonight's going to be iffy, kids are back in school, parents are back on sports schedules," said Heather Jeffreys, manager of Rush Nightclub. Jeffreys knows the crowd on Thursday and Friday evenings can't last forever.

But she wants it to. "We really want to keep that momentum going."

"Last summer was very busy," said Erik Preece, a manager at Sam & Greg's. "This summer has been even busier."

The Arts Council's programming ends at the end of September. So, what happens when the music stops? "We're also talking about doing more things on the inside when the weather changes," said Jeffreys. "We've got such a large area here to be able to do special events, things like speed dating and ladies' night."

Moving forward after the 90 day trial period, City of Huntsville leaders tell WHNT News 19 that they anticipate adding Saturday as a regular day to the entertainment districts. "For like football season, that would be a great idea," said Preece. "Especially if they're going to do the entertainment district on Saturday, people can walk around they can watch the games, they can enjoy themselves."

Jeffreys said her and her husband are already preparing for the possibility of Saturday evening being added to the schedule. "We've even made a contraption where we attached a flat screen TV to a rolling cart!"

Until that decision is made official, businesses continue to appreciate the growing sidewalk traffic even though fall is just around the corner. "It'll have an impact," said Preece. "But I do think that it's been such a successful thing that people will still be down here those nights."

"Just like in Florida, you know they conform to their off season," said Jeffreys. "You have your slower times of the year, and you just roll with it, cross your fingers."

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