Some of the businesses that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 in Prescott are the local bars, especially those on Whiskey Row.
- Due to COVID-19, bars that do not sell food, have been "paused" by the Governor
- They may not reopen until the positivity rate has reached 3% or less
- This is the time of year that they usually would make a large percentage of their annual income
- Some bars are in danger of closing
- The Prescott Chamber of Commerce is holding a fundraiser, where they hope to raise $200,000 to help these establishments.
In any other year, midsummer evenings would be hopping on Whiskey Row. Looking for a parking spot? Good luck. Fortunately, there’s a parking garage across the back alley for those wanting to visit adult beverage establishments.
But, 2020 has ushered in a new reality. Locked doors. Notes in the windows. Empty parking spots.
At this time of year, Whiskey Row should be practically overrun by tourists and locals alike. There should be loud music and laughter and dancing and karaoke. In 2020, however, it is practically silent. As of June 29, 2020, bars with a series 6 or 7 liquor license were required to pause operations until at least July 27.
But, July 27 has come and gone. Bars have not yet been allowed to reopen. On August 10, Governor Ducey announced that as part of the phased reopening in Arizona, Bars and nightclubs without a food establishment permit must remain closed until the positivity rate in the county has reached 3% or lower and maintained that rate for at least two weeks.
Behind the scenes, the bar owners are starting to feel more than a little concern. They still have expenses, but no income. This should be their busiest time of year. This should be when they make a large percentage of their annual revenue.
Those with a Series 12 license - which are establishments that serve food along with alcohol are open and operating, although under new restrictions. They can even sell alcohol-to-go, with some limitations. Golf Courses are allowed to remain open to the public and to sell and serve alcohol for consumption, as long as it is not within an enclosed space. Beverage carts are still allowed. Gyms can open, bars that serve food can open, casinos are open.
As of right now, considering the 12 day lagging data, Yavapai County’s benchmarks look like this:
Less than 3% positivity hasn’t been reached in months. With the measurements right now reading 6.4% it is likely to be several weeks before they can reopen.
And so, the Prescott Chamber of Commerce Foundation is stepping up to help these local establishments that contribute so much to the economy in Prescott. On August 12th, they announced a fund raiser to raise $200,000, with 100% of the donations going to bars that are in jeopardy.
Prescott has a long and proud Western heritage. The bars on Whiskey Row, and many other local favorites are part of that heritage that makes Prescott a unique and special place to live and visit. Forced closures have been so detrimental to these businesses who need to pay critical bills to keep their operations going. We have no idea when they will be allowed to re-open, and they’re desperate for your help!
The Prescott Chamber Foundation is launching a “Save our Bars” campaign. Our goal is to raise $200,000, with 100% of donations being awarded in $10,000 grants to each of the Bars in jeopardy. Please consider helping by making a donation to the Prescott Chamber Foundation.
This crisis will end, and when it does we want our historic/local and iconic bars ready to serve us and our visitors. Please help, we need you; Prescott needs you! For more information go to PRESCOTT.org and click on “Save our Bars” or call us at 928-445-2000
There are so many more businesses struggling; they too are on our radar, but every campaign must start somewhere so let’s......SAVE OUR BARS!
Matt Brassard is co-owner of Matt’s Saloon. They have always been at the front of efforts to help the community during other challenges, such as the the Yarnell Fire and the death of the 19 hotshot firefighters. Now, their company is one that is challenged. Brassard responded to the Chamber’s campaign with appreciation.
"While we would prefer much more to be open and serving you with some great drink and entertainment, it is just not in the cards for us yet. Each day that goes on we hope that we are one day closer. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce launched their "Save the Bars" campaign today and for that we are very grateful. This campaign hopes to raise enough money to offer each devastatingly affected bar in Prescott with a $10,000 grant to give some relief that all of us would be so grateful for. We do not ever want to see not even one of our bars here in Prescott ultimately close forever due to these government mandated shutdowns. For those that can and choose to donate, below is the link. We could not be more appreciative of all the support you have and continue to show. Please feel free to share and a huge Thank You to the Prescott Chamber of Commerce for having our backs!”
To donate, go to the Prescott Chamber of Commerce website. You can download the donation form, or make a direct monetary donation.