Archive for Wednesday, July 21, 2010

City OKs tailgating at Oread hotel

In a 3-2 vote, the city commission decided to allow the hotel to close portions of the street three hours before and an hour after football games.

July 21, 2010


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The party plan is now in place.

City commissioners Tuesday night narrowly approved a plan for The Oread hotel to use portions of city right-of-way for tailgate parties before and after each home Kansas University football game.

“It is a new idea, a new concept that we ought to give a try,” City Commissioner Lance Johnson said as commissioners approved the request on a 3-2 vote.

Details of the tailgate parties include:

• Events would begin three hours before game time and conclude one hour after the end of each game.

• 12th Street in front of the hotel would remain open but lanes would be narrowed as the party will be allowed to extend onto the street. A temporary fence will be installed to separate pedestrians and traffic.

• Oread Avenue will be open, but the event will fill the parallel parking spaces along Oread between 12th Street and the entrance to the KU parking garage. Kid zone activities will be located in that area. Temporary fencing will be installed between the games and the street.

• The Oread’s liquor license temporarily will be expanded to the public right-of-way adjacent to the hotel along 12th and Indiana streets. Alcohol won’t be allowed along the Oread right-of-way.

Now commissioners will wait to see whether they’ve opened a Pandora’s party box. Commissioners heard from area bar owner Rob Farha, who predicted other bars in the area would want to use public sidewalks or streets to sell alcohol on busy game days. Farha, who owns The Wheel near 14th and Ohio streets, said he could envision the bars near that intersection requesting right-of-way access in the future.

“I think The Oread’s idea is great as long as the alcohol sales stay on their property,” Farha said. “Otherwise you’re setting a precedent for everyone wanting to use their sidewalks to sell something on game days.”

Two commissioners also expressed safety concerns about the proposal. Mayor Mike Amyx and Commissioner Rob Chestnut said they were concerned about the proximity of cars to pedestrians gathering near the hotel.

As part of the proposal, commissioners also approved a separate Fall Sports Kickoff Event that will be Aug. 27. That event will involve closing both 12th Street and Oread Avenue from about 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a marching band parade.

In an event unrelated to the Oread, commissioners also approved a downtown party that will close a portion of Eighth Street on Aug. 15. The Sandbar received permission to close Eight Street from noon until 1 a.m. for a birthday party for the bar. The event will allow patrons of the bar to consume alcoholic beverages on the city right-of-way along Eighth Street.


Uhjh 7 years, 11 months ago

This is a terrible decision by the commissioners. This hotel has gotten too many concessions from the city (such height and cell towers) already. Oh I forgot this is Lawrence and some people are just special.

kernal 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow, I can't believe they actually okayed this. I would like to know which commissioners voted yes on this when it comes time to vote again.

onceinawhile 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm curious who voted yes/no as well. Can that be included in the story, LJ?

Phil Minkin 7 years, 11 months ago

Quote from the story: "Two commissioners also expressed safety concerns about the proposal. Mayor Mike Amyx and Commissioner Rob Chestnut said they were concerned about the proximity of cars to pedestrians gathering near the hotel"

onceinawhile 7 years, 11 months ago

It doesn't explicitly say they voted against the proposal. Also, the story doesn't list the names of the commissioners who DID vote for the proposal.

Phil Minkin 7 years, 11 months ago

Quote from the article: "Two commissioners also expressed safety concerns about the proposal. Mayor Mike Amyx and Commissioner Rob Chestnut said they were concerned about the proximity of cars to pedestrians gathering near the hotel."

awestruck 7 years, 11 months ago

Excuse me, but this is not tailgating. People have been tailgating for years, successfully, before the Oread. It is done at the stadium. This is selling alcohol outside to anyone (hopefully 21 or older) wanting to purchase it. In case no one has noticed, traffic is very heavy in this area on game day, and this will only exasperate the problem. The university, the city and the football team all seem to agree that alcohol is a problem, yet the city embraces this plan whose main premise is that alcohol be more readily available to everyone who can walk a block up the hill. School spirit seems to be OK on game days. The Oread is only promoting its own bottom line, and everyone seems so warm and fuzzy with all this. If other bars want equal and fair treatment, at least they won't impede traffic flow as badly at the stadium, and probably will have less volume than the Oread due to proximity to the stadium. Call it a street party, a block party, an open bar. But admit that it is just additional revenue for the chosen few and alcohol more readily available for everyone. Oooops, that doesn't sound too admirable. Why do they have carte blanche to do this on public property, which it will have to be since the Oread covers all the dirt it owns with building? Let the Oread host its own party, indoors, with their own restrooms. Do all the family activities in the lobby. It would be warm for the kiddies. I'm sure they would get a good response, and not negatively effect the neighborhood around the stadium. It would be a generous gesture; rather than just further taking -- they could give a little.

John Hamm 7 years, 11 months ago

IDIOTS! I can't believe they can justify this.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 11 months ago

It's all fun and games until someone gets seriously hurt. This is a disaster in the making. Shame on you City Commissioners.

bug167 7 years, 11 months ago

What next? Will the commission okay it if the Oread wants to let everyone tote guns to these tailgating parties as well? Taking their cue from the Texas legislature who are now allowing guns in the capital building and everyone's running to get that concealed weapon permit so...and yes this is actually why they want the gun and permit...they don't have to stand in line behind 300 school kids to get through the metal detectors!! Yeah, there's a fabulous idea!!! Let's have guns and booze and a kid zone!!! What an outstanding idea to bring in more money and publicity!! Let's just give The Oread whatever they want no matter how utterly ridiculous it may be! I'm sure there's a proposal for the Kid Zone to include a lawn dart toss and BB gun target shoot with empty beer bottles!! Or better yet, ARCHERY with real arrows! That'll be fun beyond imagining! And I'm sure it'll keep the little nippers out of their parents' hair long enough for some brews and brats. Might as well start 'em early! Give 'em a beer and send 'em off to play while their parents get hammered and then drive home after the game ends so they can get their kids to bed at a reasonable hour! Who cares if that bed happens to be in Lawrence Memorial Hospital? It just means more revenue for LMH, right? BRILLIANT PLAN CITY COMMISSIONERS!!! NOT!!!

kernal 7 years, 11 months ago

The city already has one of those. Perhaps the hotel should lease that from the city when it's not in use the other 359 days of the year. They could shoot cannonballs down Jayhawk Blvd everytime there's a touchdown and give free drinks to those who have the best guess on distance for each shot. Afterall the city only uses it one day a year.

MattressMan 7 years, 11 months ago

" Will the Wheel be allowed to close 14th between Tennessee and Louisiana?"

The Oread isn't asking to close off an entire street but if the Wheel went through all of the proper channels they may allow it. Not much difference between this and the closing of 8th st. between Mass and NH on 8-14/15 for the Sandbar birthday party, this too was approved last night.

kernal 7 years, 11 months ago

They may as well have closed it off; the traffic congestion is going to be ridiculous.

Jeremy DeBoard 7 years, 11 months ago

But you'll be able to buy a drink while you wait for the traffic to move along.

seriouscat 7 years, 11 months ago

when was the last time you were in the 9th street garage? I use it on a regular basis and not only is it not empty, it is often 90% full!

The only time I have trouble finding a spot in the library lot though, is during the Summer when all the pool goers use the library parking lot and walk across the street. Maybe a shuttle service for the pool would be more efficient.

irvan moore 7 years, 11 months ago

i think they realized the library memorial to the commisioners parking lot and expansion is in trouble so they replaced it with the public drunk fest and traffic jam memorial to the commissioners. we gotta be smarter than this.

julz 7 years, 11 months ago

Aug. 15 is a Sunday, is that date right for the Sandbar event?

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 11 months ago

The party starts on Saturday night. The bar doesn't close until 2 am on Sunday

Tandava 7 years, 11 months ago

This is not just a bad idea, it is terrible idea. Not only will it bother the surrounding neighbors and impede traffic, it will also be a nightmare for the police. If the Oread Hotel gets three citations in a 12-month period -- illegal hosting, public urination, whatever -- will the City determine it to be a "nuisance house"?

Ryan Gerstner 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow, when did so many Lawrence residents get so uptight? They should be cheering for everything that will build up Gameday and make KU Football a bigger deal. UT gets 150,000 tailgating for a 100,000 seat stadium. You start drawing more people in town than what the stadium holds and all that extra tax revenue helps hold everyone's taxes down and better fund the city.

knayte 7 years, 11 months ago

"Bunch of boys playing a boy's game." You are clearly as close-minded as the people you are railing against. Sports, especially football, is not only about watching a "game" but joining together with a community and having a good time.

This thing at the Oread won't cause any more headaches for the people living in the area than they experience for any other gameday. I can't believe how much time you're wasting complaining about this relatively small issue. Get a life and get over your small-minded sports-are-for-ignorant-proles attitude.

knowyourfacts 7 years, 11 months ago

Who is trying to drive around a football stadium on gamedays? Shouldnt you expect the traffic to be heavy? And people living in that area should understand that goes with the territory of living on a major college campus on gameday..get over it. What would you think if Memorial Stadium held 75000 or 100000 people? I fail to see why this is a bad idea. First of all, the majority of people going to the Oread will not be college students as they cant afford 6 dollar beers. Some of you people will never be happy in this world...and i feel sorry for you

btown 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree, it sounds like fun. I think it is apparent that everyone complaining about this does not attend the University football games and enjoy the gameday atmsophere. There is no where near enough parking for everyone to drive to the stadium and tailgate, so why can't I go enjoy a beer before the game in a fun atmosphere close to the stadium? It's not like they have denied any of the other businesses, they haven't asked to do this. There are so many whining babies on these blogs!!

Renee Marsh 7 years, 11 months ago

This article is vague as to the vote. Please tell us exactly who voted for and against. Were Chestnut and Amyx "no" votes, or did they just express "concerns" and then vote "yes"?

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 11 months ago

Considering that the LJW's own poll showed that 3/4 of the votes were no on this subject, I would say this city commission likes to live dangerously.

knowyourfacts 7 years, 11 months ago

How is this special treatment? Because the Oread was the first to ask to hold this thing? And isn't the Oread on campus? And isnt the Oread a business? I promise if any local restaurants were to ask to set up a booth at this tailgate party, the Oread wouldn't say no. They are trying to enhance the gameday experience at KU, and you obviously have some issue with that other than you dont think it's "fair", GMAFB. The roads could be blocked but you are one of the morons on here saying they shouldn't be. The issue is you just want to complain about something. If you dont like the party scene, thats fine, don't participate.

Chiliskate 7 years, 11 months ago

"and conclude one hour after each game"... good luck with that.. lol

MattressMan 7 years, 11 months ago

Come on Jack, tell us how you really feel.

You don't like the idea, don't go up there on game day

You don't like the decision of the commisioners, vote them out

Oh never mind, it's much more productive to whine about it on a newspaper website than to actually get your fellow citizens to go to the polls. Biggest problem with the whiners in this town is it seems they want to b*tch and moan on here and expect that to change things to their liking.

workinghard 7 years, 11 months ago

I suggest adjoining property owners take lots of pictures of their property before the kick-off party starts and take pictures of any damage or littering to protect themselves.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 11 months ago

I was wondering who was going to be responsible for the cleanup afterwards.

knowyourfacts 7 years, 11 months ago

OK the Oread isn't technically on campus grounds but either is the Wheel or Hawk, but you can consider it campus. My argument is people need to stop complaining, these "drunk fests" as you claim they'll be have not even happened yet. So how can you claim property will just get destroyed? Parking is a disaster in that area even if the Oread doesn't have these parties so I dont buy your argument about the parking garage, thats what you should expect when 50000 plus people gather in one small area. I still don't get this fair play bs you are talking about? What isn't fair about this? The Oread is doing something to promote itself? They are letting the Sandbar have a party on a PUBLIC street, but you sure aren't complaining about that.

workinghard 7 years, 11 months ago

"So how can you claim property will just get destroyed? " ummm-I live close to downtown and had to deal with the damage and trash from the parties celebrating the KU basketball wins.

VinoVeritas 7 years, 11 months ago

First of all, using the opinions of followers as a barometer for of general public opinion is completely inaccurate. Secondly, why does this move surprise all of you guys so much? We live in the United States, where even the slightest legislative decision is politically driven. Okay, so the commission has made a decision you disagree with, You feel it is unfair. Great, now find out who voted in favor of this and don't vote for them again. Congrats, you are now part of the democratic process.

As far as this setting a "dangerous precedent," no other bars are in such close proximity to the stadium. No other bar has the arena for tailgating this close to the stadium. No other bar has the financial means or manpower to clean up after a day of tailgating shenanigans.

I refuse to believe any of you complaining about the "increased traffic" and "excessive drinking" have ever been to a KU football game. The entire surrounding area is a big party with a TON of excessive drinking. Now, for the first season ever, there is a large business wanting to take some financial gain from this. Do you really think a bunch of college kids are going to run to a hotel, rack up a $80 tab binge drinking, and then puke all over your kids faces en route to the game? Because that's what it sounds like you're worried about.

Until we have seen this in action, there is nothing we can do or should be worried about. People have just as much of a chance dying from alcohol-related activities in front of the hotel as they do playing beer pong in front of a house on 9th and Maine.

I'm excited for football season, and hopefully the Oread is responsible with this new-found freedom.

go hawks!

Tom McCune 7 years, 11 months ago

How much is the Oread Hotel paying the city for the additional police protection and use of public property? Nothing, I'll bet.

Danimal 7 years, 11 months ago

I think if the Oread wanted to hold public human sacrifices on 12th Street the city would approve it. Seriously, these folks get whatever they want in this town.

btown 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, three blocks is soooooooo far away from the stadium!!

ToriFreak13 7 years, 11 months ago

As stupid the idea might will flop anyway. Who the H wants to "tailgate" that far away from the stadium?..and have to pay for it? There are plenty of tailgates and tents down by the stadium with freeeeee food and booze. Let them waste their dough on fences and live entertainment. Just make sure they are pulling down those fences 1 hour after the game please.

kernal 7 years, 11 months ago

That may be your trademark, but don't assume it's everyone else's.

sherlock 7 years, 11 months ago

why not just close down Lawrence during any sports games? After all they are more important than anything else! So what if you dont give a "fig" for going to the games. They make money so we must let them do what they want, especially the bars. Let one have the street then why not all of them here in town? Oh yeah that might pull some of the drinkers from the Oread, right? Would water down the crowd! But right now seems anyone up on the "hill" can ask for anything and its granted. Outdoor privies in back yards, open drinking in public and so it goes. Wild west Lawrence, just as back in the early old western movies where the bars never closed!!!!

Eugehne Normandin 7 years, 11 months ago

I hope they let all stars and Johnnys use a lane of north 2nd street too. What street are they selling stolen tickets on ?

merg311 7 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ralphralph 7 years, 11 months ago

What's stupid is wanting to "host" an event, and then use PUBLIC STREETS as the venue. If these people wanted to "host"events like this, they should have bought enough land to do so.

Streets are PUBLIC property, not an extension of your Freaking Hotel!

lawrencenerd 7 years, 11 months ago

Awesome. More people who feel they have a right to drunkenly trash my neighborhood. I can't believe the city encourages this crap.

onceinawhile 7 years, 11 months ago

The Kansan is reporting ( that the tailgate proposal is only in effect for the first game, then the Oread Hotel will need to be approved for the rest of the games based on how the first tailgate goes. Anyone know what's up with the discrepancy in these stories? Who is right?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

Regardless, the city commission has put themselves in the position of having to approve any "block party" proposal that comes before them. That is not a "commercial" area, even though the hotel dominates that intersection, and traffic flow in that area is always difficult, unlike the downtown area, whose grid layout allows traffic to flow even a few blocks are blocked off or otherwise restricted.

onceinawhile 7 years, 11 months ago

This doesn't answer my question; both stories still are reporting different outcomes of the city commission vote.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) replies…

"Regardless, the city commission has put themselves in the position of having to approve any "block party" proposal that comes before them. That is not a "commercial" area, even though the hotel dominates that intersection, and traffic flow in that area is always difficult, unlike the downtown area, whose grid layout allows traffic to flow even a few blocks are blocked off or otherwise restricted."

Exactly aka the bottom line!

benfongturez 7 years, 11 months ago

I am a KU student who has leased a house a block from the hotel on Mississippi street. Ever since it opened that intersection is useless as a route to campus. My collegiate career I ran up Indiana to park at the top level of the garage and hopefully make my 8AM on time. The traffic there, the crazy drunk Jimmy John's drivers (my bipolar crazy roommate is one at the Oread, and many of them stop at our house to take shots while they drive deliveries, then park in front of rental property, where those spots were promised to the tenants, yes we can tow them but not without our landlords approval, it is an ordeal... thanks Oread!!!) the drunks walking to and from there, and the rich kids driving their huge ass cars out of the parking lot not looking have almost killed me while I walk my dog in the cool evening dusk multiple times. I guess the hotel destroyed so much campus history, the felt they should start a new tradition of their own. P.S. Gage management owns many of the neighboring properties, and mine, and they really could care less about their condition or potential damage as long as there is someone else liable (the city). They just like that monthly paycheck and proximity to campus guarantees they will be occupied. Why has the city never cracked down on the conditions of the houses us students get suckered into over there, I watched one burn from shotty wiring a month ago. "This will all be taken care of by the time you move in..... unless you have that in writing, management has no obligation to fulfill an unauthorized oral agreement." Seriously Lawrence, let us serious students GET to school during the week (or home from work on Saturday afternoons), inspect campus rental properties, and take my parking space back from the drunk jimmy john's driver... Thank you. Better yet, put a DUI checkpoint on both sides of the hotel, one right next to the parking garage, and test my theory, the hotel employees alone will make the city a thousand dollars in citations within minutes.

benfongturez 7 years, 11 months ago

you are one of the most radical commenters. Do you have any idea how many students and non students walk dogs over there. The vast majority do not carry bags, however I am one of the few that do. I use little ziplock so I don't have to smell it the rest of the walk. P.S. if it weren't for the dirty looks I get, I wouldnt, because the plastic bags are bad for the environment. Dog poop is fertilizer. But I get it that people don't want to step in dog crap on their walk.

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