Beale Street’s Future Revealed

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(Downtown Memphis) Now that the City of Memphis has regained full control over Beale Street, everybody wants to know what’s next.

A new report answers that.

It’s all to make tourists like Kathy Dobill come back more often and to encourage their friends to visit too, ”Just getting around and enjoying the entertainment. We really, really enjoyed being here."

Members of the Beale Street strategic planning committee believe tourists could enjoy it much more.

Jeff Sanford of the Downtown Memphis Commission says it’s important, because Beale brings people to Memphis, and creates jobs far from the entertainment district, ”What happens to Beale Street forward is important to everybody whether you come to Beale Street on occasion or never come at all."

The group wants things like expanding the district, better connections with other parts of downtown, a section targeted at people over age 45, and improvements to Church and Handy parks.

”It answered the essential questions and we got a lot to work with," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

He even liked the idea of a small auditorium to showcase different kinds of music, but he says he doesn’t want the City running things.

What happens now?

”We go to work on it, figuring out how to come up with a management form. That’s the key thing. Who is going to be in charge of Beale Street, because that’s who’s gonna answer a lot of these questions that were brought up here," said Wharton.

The study also calls for cleaning up Beale and beefing up security, and tourists like the sound of that.

The idea is the keep Beale Street thriving and relevant in a world where everything, including music, changes at lightning speed.