Entry fee for Beale Street will depend on crowds

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While walking in Memphis, patrons will have to pull out their wallets when they arrive at Beale Street at certain times.

People will not only have to cross barriers at Second and Third, but also cross monetary barriers depending on crowds.

“It’ll definitely keep me from coming,” Jeremy Malone said.

People who live in Memphis told WREG they were not happy about it.

“I feel like they’re going to lose a lot of people,” Malone said.

Visitors told WREG they were on the fence about the cover charge.

“It’s like okay, we paid, we saw it, do we want to go back? And we’ve been here 3 or 4 times.  So I don’t know,” Julia Stumpf said.

Saturday, there was a $10.00 charge and businesses agreed to shut down at 3:00 a.m.

Paul Morris, President of the Downtown Memphis Commission and Interim Manager of Beale Street, said a fee will only be charged when there is a chance of the street overcrowding or becoming unsafe.

Morris said overcrowding typically happens around midnight Saturday during the summer.

Crimes and incidents, like the video that went viral last weekend, is what sparked the change.

A man was found passed out in a pool of blood on Beale Street while onlookers stood around taking pictures.

“One of the lessons we took from that and the whole community hopefully took from that is that people should not sit around looking at a problem and not act to solve it,” Morris.

“The crowd gets too big,” Morris said.  “It becomes a public safety issue because there’s just too many people and not enough room to safely move around.”

Charging on the weekend and closing down a little early is the solution the commission came up with.

Morris said police are on board and so are the businesses.

“I’d rather have people complaining about the fee than complaining about some crime that happened down here,” Morris explained.

The charge is allowed because Beale Street is designated as an historic district.

26 comments

  • JOE

    This is a crock. Right, to make Beale St. safer. Maybe someone will sue the city when they are robbed (or what ever will happen to you downtown) walking from their car to Beale. That is where the thugs will be now. At least they were watched while they were thugging on Beale. Why didn’t they just inforce the loitering laws…

  • Richard Willis

    If Beale Street has become so dangerous that businesses are having to shut down early, I’ll just avoid the area for my own safety. Why would I pay $10 to put myself in a dangerous situation for three hours?

  • Skeptic

    I just go by what my Grandfather taught me long ago….If you aren’t in bed by 9 o’clock, you might as well go home.

  • jeremy

    STUPID STUPID STUPID! I have been once and if you are not there to get hammered its a waste of time.I went with a group of people and me being a casual drinker, it was very expensive. you go to this bar, 10 bucks at the door. then everyone wants to go to this one, 10 bucks at the door. so to add a cover to walk on the street…your gonna lose ALOT of people.we already pay taxes for this public street…

  • Thomas H. Evans

    Really, I am now going to pay $10.00 for the chance of getting beat up or robbed on Beale Street. Another sign that we have people in charge of our venues who have no clue on how to run a business. Now they will close earlier for our safety; so what stops the thugs from getting us earlier? Who comes up with these ideas anyway? I wouldn’t pay $1.00 to enter Beale Street.

  • John Valentine

    The $10 entrance fee isn’t such a bad idea if the participant was given a $10 redeemable certificate to be spent anywhere on Beale Street. This way you wouldn’t feel as if you’re being fleeced, which I think is the real reason for the fee. Just another attempt by greedy merchants to make even more money. This is as if their over inflated “tourist prices” isn’t outrageous already. Straight charging people to enter an entertainment district when you have to pay for everything else will only drive away business. You allow people to drink to excess on the streets and then you’re surprised some act up? Really?

  • IwishUwould

    Can somebody please explain to me how is this legal, I thought Beale was a public street for our entertainment that we already payi taxes for to enjoy?

  • 122811

    I heard they will give you a gift card for 10 dollars that can be used at any place on beale st. if this is true it may work.

  • John T. Dwyer

    Note to Channel 3: Thanks for “POOFING” the trolls and flamers. Makes way for more constructive dialogue, which is what this open thread is for.

  • Soul Beat

    This will need to stop ASAP. Beale street can not charge a fee do to the street was paid for by tax payers. Just like we can not put a toll both around Memphis you can not charge to come on Beale Street they are braking the law with this. I will be asking about this and looking into this with the state

  • Kevin Lewis

    I believe an increased Police presence will help keep Beale Street safe. The Police are posted at the Second and Third St. intersections, but they need to walk the beat up and down Beale…Why just have the Police just stand in one place…a lot of them need to walk anyway…if they have 3 pairs of officers walking up and down each side of Beale on some type of schedule, they will be in position if trouble starts. Harold Collins said Beale St. is controlled by the city, then patrol it and keep the patrons safe.

  • Mnyama

    Well… Beale Street is off the list of places to take my out-of-town guests. I go there because they want to see it not because there is anything in particular to do or see. I will not pay to walk two blocks of nothing that has Mayberry RFD hours.

  • ron

    As a 2nd thought on the subject, I think its a great idea. They should extend it from 3 pm until 3 am. This will keep out all the riff raft and make it safer for tourists.

  • Jeremy S

    I regularly go down Beale to eat and have a couple drinks before Tigers and Grizzlies games. Now, I may avoid it in favor of neighboring restaurants and bars. Why pay?

  • jdoggtn

    We are asking everyone to BOYCOTT BEALE STREET until the $10 fee is repealed. The fee was imposed without the awareness or support of many business owners on the street, particularly Black business owners. #BoycottBeale

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  • VERY DISAPPOINTED

    EVERY TIME I TURN AROUND THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE. BOTTOM LINE HERE WITH ME. I WILL NEVER PAY ANY FEE TO GET ON BEALE. I WOULDN’T CARE WHOS PLAYING OR WHAT THEY ARE SERVING. ACTUALLY I LOST INTEREST WHEN THEY WANTED TO TACK A FEE ONTO YOUR TAB AND SAID THEY WOULD DIVIDE IT WITH THE MUSICIANS. (CHUCKLE) THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA!!! AND IF YOU THINK THAT DOING THIS WILL HELP IN SOLVING CRIME….THINK AGAIN. THERE ARE WAYS OF GETTING ON BEALE WITHOUT ANYONE KNOWING IT. AND A CURFEW? REALLY?
    WHY NOT START WITH AGE. THAT IS 50% OF YOUR CRIME THERE. WHY WOULD 16, 17, 18, 19,YEAR OLDs BE DOING ON BEAL STREET ANYWAY? WITH THEM AUTOMATICALLY COMES TROUBLE. I WAS A CELEBRITY FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER. EARNEST WITHERS ONCE TOLD ME THAT IN THE END, IT’S NOT WORTH IT. AND TRUST ME, IT DIDN’T TAKE ME THAT LONG TO FIND THAT OUT. IF I SHOULD DESIDE TO START AGAIN. IT WILL BE TRAVELING.
    VERY DISAPPOINTED

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