Olympic Way to be transformed into entertainment hip strip
Olympic Way, the home of Swagg Tuesdays, All Star Check Thursday, and Month-end Fridays, is to be transformed into an entertainment hip strip in the Corporate Area.
Andrew Holness in whose West Central St Andrew constituency Olympic Way falls, said in Parliament that the aim is to create entertainment products that can be delivered in the community without being an inconvenience to others.
"This year, as my special project, with a combination of funds from the Constituency Development Fund and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, I will be seeking to brand Olympic Way as a commercial and entertainment hip strip," Holness said.
He noted that the emergence of Olympic Way as a main entertainment venue has led to patrons leaving many communities to visit the area for partying.
"This phenomenon is not new or unique to Olympic Gardens. However, there now appears to be a more coordinated and organised effort among young entrepreneurs."
Holness said he is sensitive to the complaints of residents about night noise and the obstruction of traffic, but said, "I am confident, however, that as the promoters become more organised, they will be able to better self-regulate within the law, and create entertainment products that can be delivered without inconvenience."
Damion Crawford, the state minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, welcomed the announcement, shouting in Parliament that he would help to get more funding for the venture.
"The economic possibilities of entertainment for low-income communities have been long established and I am happy that more voices are joining me in the support for entertainment as an industry," Crawford told The Gleaner.
He said the embrace of his entertainment zone in community policy by Holness would be a "wonderful implementation of the concept we have been pushing - to have the unison of entertainment in communities that support it".
Holness told Parliament that the hip-strip project will see the development of entertainment products such as live cultural and sporting events.
The MP also said repairs would be done to pedestrian infrastructure such as drain covers, bridge rails and sidewalks, to make them more suitable for users, particularly the disabled community.
Holness, who has been the MP in the area for 18 years, also said that the project would see the removal of zinc fences and enlivening the colours of the fences along the thoroughfare to create a more welcoming atmosphere. He said, too, that owners of establishments would be provided with branding signage to enhance the look and feel of the area.