Changes To Beale Street Bucks Entry Fee Program

People Must Pay $5 Instead Of $10 To Enter Beale St. Saturday Nights After 10 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Changes to Beale Street Bucks started Saturday.

Initially visitors had to pay $10 to get onto Beale Street and received a voucher to use at businesses on Beale Street.

However, now each and every Saturday night it will be a $5 charge without the voucher.

Our reporter, Annette Peagler went to the streets to get reaction.  The people she talked to understood the reasoning for safety.  Others say they don't want to be bothered with the added charge.

"I never had to pay to go on before so I'm not sure, so I guess it's like paying for parking," said Lisa Salinas from Dallas, Texas. 

"It's like a tourist attraction you wouldn't want to come down here and pay for something that's normally free," said Nate Holmes from Chicago, Illinois. 

Memphis City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd says the goal is to have the money generated to go towards extra security officers on Saturday night.

"We don't have to reinvent the wheel just make improvements to it. Other cities have had similar problems and issues I think we can have takeaways and take those takeaways and implement them here and see what happens," said Berlin Boyd, Chairman, Memphis City Council.

The Beale Street Task Force will determine if the program is effective. A lot of tourists say safety is their number one concern.

"Security because being from out of town to come in, you want to feel safe. You also want to have a good time, but you want to feel safe," said Lovelle Ned from Opelousas, Louisiana. 

However, some felt that safety shouldn't come with a price.

"If it's something that's going to help the community I'm for it, but at the same time you shouldn't tax something that's also bringing business in the community," Holmes said.

Councilman Boyd says the council will be directing the DMC to employ more security officers.  Although the $5 charge starts tonight, the extra officers will not be in place until next weekend.


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