NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) – Although a new ordinance banning alcohol in unclosed entertainment vehicles took effect on Wednesday, companies said the regulations had really hit their wallets over the weekend.
âIt’s like the numbers are going down; business is down, âsaid Sprocket Rocket director Dustin Olson.
Olson said Sprocket Rocket sees an average of up to 70 rides each Saturday. On the first Saturday of the new rules, the company only had 10 races.
“All week I was answering the phone and canceling or saying to people, ‘Hey, sorry, we can’t have alcohol on it,’ and a lot of them just wanted their money back because of it. Others are like, “Yeah, we’re going to do it; it’ll still be fun,” Olson said.
The riders explained their reaction when they learned about the new rules for the first time.
âWhere can we buy alcohol before? And how many stops are we going to make to buy alcohol? Asked Alex Mattuchio, visiting from Boston.
Others said no alcohol repelled them from the idea.
“I wouldn’t go on it if you [arenât] able to live the full experience of it. This is what we looked at before coming, âsaid Melissa Kemmere, visiting from Canada.
The weekend also brought workarounds like the plexiglass used by some companies to lock up their vehicles.
Ordinance sponsor Freddie O’Connell said the settlement was an important first step until transport vehicles can apply for liquor permits, hopefully in April.
“This is the first step in a regulatory process for this class of entertainment transport vehicles,” O’Connell said at the Oct. 19 conference.e Metro council meeting.
The owner of Sprocket Rocket said party bikes have been regulated for years with their own set of rules. He said he agreed with the regulation of all entertainment vehicles.
âParty bikes have been regulated since 2018,â said Emmit Martin, owner of Sprocket Rocket. âWe have blackout hours. We have rules; we have respected them. Party vehicles, trucks and tractors and everything else, they haven’t been subject to any regulationsâ¦ they have to make sure they’re CDL drivers. They have to make sure that they are just following the same rules that we have to follow as party bikes. ”
Martin said city leaders told him party bikes could have booze as early as the end of the month. He hopes it will come back as soon as possible. He asked the city to take into account the number of tourists that the entertainment vehicles bring to the city.
“I just hope the city leaders do what they say they’re going to do and give us the booze back because we’re a legitimate business.” We make over 100,000 people with our business alone, so with all businesses we are over three quarters of a million people. It’s a huge waste of money in taxes, income and jobs, âsaid Martin.
Metro Police have announced a new task force that will check for violators Thursday through Sunday evening. Although they hope to see voluntary compliance, violators could face a fine of $ 50.