Old people like to drink too. That was manifested in Scottsdale for many years at a place called Chances Are. There it sat on Miller Road, just south of Camelback and across from a lot of residences. It became to septuagenarians in the area what Studio 54 once was to the Big Apple.
Back then we didn’t hear many complaints about bars in that part of town. Maybe that’s why city leaders wisely called for siting more bars and clubs in an “Entertainment District” east of Scottsdale Road, not too far from Chances Are. Such would leave downtown neighborhoods to the west of Scottsdale Road more for dining establishments. The locale of places like Jetz, Stix, Planet Earth, The Works and Anderson’s Fifth Estate would be no more. It seemed to be wise planning. And everyone signed on.
Then something impressive happened. Small business people started creating compelling places for younger people like Axis, Radius, El Hefe, Maya, W Hotel, Martini Ranch, Maloney’s, DJs and many others just where the city wanted them. Scottsdale’s Entertainment District started resembling the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. The planning worked. Too well for some as it turned out.
Soon the calls to revoke permits and deny more small businesses in the area occurred. It’s as if they were Soviets, not Smith as in Adam. We don’t want to be sleepy or sensational so let’s just be injudicious.
In 2014 one independent expenditure effort even tried to defeat Councilwoman Linda Milhaven because of her support for the entertainment district. He lost. She won. Why? Because Scottsdale voters get it. They support the area and what it’s meaning for more people that want to live and work in downtown in order to be near the energy. They know what it means for Scottsdale as a tourism destination. As Governor Ducey said on more than one occasion during last year’s Super Bowl: “The game may be played in Glendale but the party is in Scottsdale.”
As the 2016 elections gear up we are again starting to hear candidate consternation about the entertainment district, in particular from Bob Littlefield. The good news is that voters are likely to tune out such criticism, along with his candidacy. Chances are.