CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — Chipley City officials have decided they’d like to turn their historic downtown into an entertainment district.

The Chipley City Council approved the first reading of an entertainment district ordinance during Wednesday’s meeting. 

“This entertainment district is just another opportunity to allow us to create a space, a designated physical location where we can offer more to the public, to our community, and to those guests and visitors that are passing through our community,” said Chipley Mayor Tracy Andrews. 

The entertainment district will be a designated area downtown. It will create the opportunity for special events, the outdoor consumption of alcoholic beverages, and extended business hours. Officials hope the district will create a social environment for residents and visitors as well. 

“This impacts our downtown area, our merchants, the property owners there and just offer more variety of amenities, making it more of a pedestrian-friendly area where they can be able to flow from shop to shop or from venue to venue,” said Andrews.  

The entertainment district will also help Chipley grow economically. There will be an increase in revenue as new businesses move to the area and public events are held more often. According to Washington County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Maxwell, many families are looking to move into the up-and-coming city as well. 

“They’re looking and asking questions about real estate, about schools, about coming in and establishing a business,” said Maxwell. “I think it’s only going to enhance the quality of life here that people are searching for.”

The second public hearing for the entertainment district ordinance will be held on November 14.