Ordinance Clears Red Tape for Downtown Businesses - 8 News NOW

Ordinance Clears Red Tape for Downtown Businesses

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LAS VEGAS - Efforts by the City of Las Vegas are making it easier for new businesses to open in downtown Las Vegas.

Three new breweries are opening. One is already open. The other two are under construction.

Lueling Orchard Brewing Company owner Aaron Lueling says his new brewery still needs work. He took a leap of faith two years ago and quit his job to focus on brewing beer and opening his own bar.

"I was scared, just like everybody else that is an entrepreneur that wants to do a gig," he said. "I just touched the water a little bit with the hobby, and then I just said, ‘Okay, let's do it,' and jumped in. Now, we're swimming and making it happen."

He realized opening his business would be expensive. Originally, a new brewery had to pay a $75,000 fee to the city. Lueling worked closely with a group of friends and city leaders to change the rule. They developed a city ordinance that sliced that fee to $500 semi-annually.

"We went through recommending committees. We went to meetings with the business licensing folks down for the city and really just kind of hashed out what would work best," Lueling said. "Then, we presented them why it would be in their best interest to show growth, especially for the economy that's kind of lackluster."

It's working, and breweries aren't alone. Other downtown businesses are finding success thanks to numerous efforts. One restaurant owner received help via the Downtown Project, which invested $350 million in revitalization efforts. Since opening two months ago, the restaurant owner has doubled his staff.

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