Okotoks town council has voted against pursuing the proposed Entertainment District pilot project.
The project was intended to draw people downtown by allowing the consumption of alcohol in certain areas of Okotoks' downtown streets from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. between June and November.
The idea stemmed from changes to the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act in 2021 which amended the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act to allow for the creation of Entertainment Districts.
While the proposed pilot received a positive reception from in-person engagement at the Okotoks Trade Show, with 93 per cent of the 238 participants showing support, concern started to rise after the proposed pilot was announced online later in mid-April.
A survey held by the town saw 1,639 responses from community members and 36 responses from businesses.
According to the What We Heard Report, only 52 per cent of community participants supported the idea.
Of the businesses that participated, 67 per cent opposed the idea.
Policing, family friendliness, and waste were among the concerns voiced by participants.
Several council meetings also saw members of the public participants in Public Delegations to voice their opposition directly to council.
At a May 15 Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, and council voted on an amended version of the pilot on May 24.
The amended version changed the timeframe of when the Entertainment District would be active, which would be during certain community events like BuskerFest, the Show and Shine, and Chilifest.
This amended version was ultimately defeated by a council vote.
The town attributes the decision both to community feedback and the belief that the pilot wouldn't succeed in attracting people to downtown Okotoks.