Local leaders learning how to spice up Montgomery nightlife -- Gazette.Net


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This story was corrected at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, June 24. An explanation follows the story.

Montgomery County may boast of many things — beautiful parks, highly-rated schools and a terrific library system — but thriving nightlife is not one of them.

The county hopes to change that. On Monday and Tuesday, the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control is partnering with the Responsible Hospitality Institute, of Santa Cruz, Calif., to host a Sociable City Leadership Summit at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

Experts in the hospitality business and city planners will discuss how to foster dining and entertainment districts.

Topics such as “What do Women Want in Downtown” and “Creating Vibrancy from Public Space to Private Venue” will be discussed.

The conference will inform County Executive Isiah Leggett hopes of turning Montgomery County into a nighttime hotspot. In January of this year, Leggett created a county Nighttime Economy Task Force to examine what the was needed to attract millennials to the county’s business districts after hours, the way Arlington and neighborhoods in Washington have done.

The 19-member group, which meets the third Monday of every month, is chaired by Heather Dlhopolsky, a lawyer and a board member of the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce. To see a full list of the task force members, visit the website: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/nighttimeeconomy/who.html.

According to the Nighttime Economy Task Force website, a nighttime economy needs to be part of a 24-hour community made up of restaurants, bars, retail stores and entertainment venues. The county hopes to establish a lively environment that appeals to all sorts of people — from baby boomers to families to single professionals.

Speakers at the conference include Dlhopolsky, Council President Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, County Councilmember Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Takoma Park, D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Montgomery County Police Capt. John Damskey.

ablum@gazette.net

An earlier version of this story had an incorrect spelling for Heather Dlhopolsky’s last name.