LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) — Laurens city leaders are tired of seeing residents drive to larger cities any time they want to have a night out. To expand the city’s own offerings for locals, city leadership is now working with downtown businesses to build a nightlife scene.
“I’d say the situation now is one where some of our local stores tend to close earlier,” Mayor Nathan Senn said. “Unfortunately, that means a lot of folks, if they’re looking for a later place to go out dining or some other entertainment option that’s open a little bit later, are having to go out of town.”
Senn said the city’s effort to reform downtown’s culture is slated to begin in April.
“We’re asking out businesses to stay open on Friday nights later, perhaps offer special deals or offers to groups within the community like large industrial employers or students,” he said.
Senn said the city will also block off portions of downtown for additional seating and meeting areas.
In addition to benefiting adults needing to wind down from their jobs, a nocturnally-friendly downtown could benefit young people, providing a nearby gathering location with activities for teenagers. According to Senn, building the town a new culture of happening evenings creates a bigger draw for young people than, say, a single event.
“Looking back on my own experience and having talked to a lot of our teenagers, it really is less about having a particular programming or event for them to take part in so much as just having a place to gather and having it be safe,” he said.