Growing nightlife makes the District want to expand safe policies

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COLUMBIA - Downtown Columbia has seen an explosion in businesses and apartment complexes in the past few years.

With that expansion comes even more nightlife than before, so the District is looking for ways to keep people downtown safe and secure.

The District hopes the existing national Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) will bring together a community conversation with both types of businesses. It will be looking at a Hospitality Zone Assessment to help manage the city's nighttime economy.

District Executive Director Katie Essing said part of the issue in keeping people safe is there are two different sets of economy for the area.

"Our night time economy folks aren't here at the same time as our daytime economy folks another part is we are having tremendous growth with the housing that is downtown and with the number of students. So we need to watch that growth and figure out how we keep everybody safe and secure," Essing said. 

RHI, a non-profit organization, has worked with other Missouri cities like Springfield and St. Louis. 

RHI will work with the Community Improvement District Board starting in May. Essing said the District isn't sure the concerns or ideas yet, but it wants dialogue about what is best for Columbia.