MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said a number of owners of businesses downtown are responding positively to the city's decision to suspend its open container policy. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, patrons of downtown establishments are no longer able to carry open containers of alcohol in Montgomery's entertainment district.
Mayor Strange cited a number of complaints from downtown business owners, residents living in lofts downtown and the cost of paying for officers to patrol the entertainment district as reasons for the suspension. On Tuesday, Strange said the feedback has been positive.
"For residential apartments that had lost 20 to 40 percent of their occupancy, those numbers have gone back up in January," said Strange. "We are hearing lost of thank you's from businesses. If something's going right there, we need to think about what it is that could modify as we go forward."
Strange said the city is working with the Downtown Business Alliance to figure out the best way to modify the policy. For now, he said the suspension remains in place. He said officials will review the situation for the next 30 to 60 days.
There are exceptions, he said, for special events for which a sponsor can request a license to allow open containers of alcohol in the entertainment district.
The mayor stated last Saturday's Mardi Gras Block Party as an example.