There are those who say the Power & Light District’s credit card-only cover charge policy is racist…
That locals should boycott the downtown entertainment district because of it. Not Bill Nigro. Funny thing about it is, Nigro has every reason to look for excuses to bag on the P&L. As a businessman who owns and/or has owned any number of nightclubs and/or restaurants in Westport – Kansas City’s former leading entertainment district – Nigro felt former KC Mayor Kay Barnes screwed Westport by granting all those tax breaks to the P&L.
He’s got a point and he’s not alone in that thinking….
But what’s done is done and aside from leveling the playing field, Nigro (and Partner Bill George) want to connect all of KC’s entertainment districts via their KC Strip trolley shuttles for the betterment of partykind.
And that’s hard to accomplish when you have to devote money and resourses to dealing with sprawling, unruly crowds of errant urban youth who gather on hot summer weekend nights causing disturbances and scaring off paying customers.
This summer, those crowds have shifted for the most part to the P&L District and grown in size.
It’s not like the P&L didn’t see this coming from the get-go. They didn’t wall that baby in by accident, and there’s been no shortage of criticism over its dress code policy from Day One.
Bringing us to the controversial $10 (buys two drinks), credit card-only cover. The rub being kids, especially poor, urban ones won’t have the plastic and thus be unable to gain entry.
Nigro’s take on the new P&L policy? Two thumbs up!
"Just like in Westport, because of the gang violence, they have to do some creative things to keep ’em out," Nigro says. "You know, the gangs come in all races – white, black, Hispanic and Asian – and we just don’t want them. We don’t want any violent types, period.
"Do we get creative with credit card cover charges and dress codes? Yes, we do. Because we’re trying to protect our customers. We’re trying to show them a good time. And we’re sorry if we offended anyone, but it’s all about good behavior. People who misbehave are not welcome in our neighborhoods. It’s not about race, it’s about misbehavior and gangs.
"They’re trying to make it like the P&L District’s doing something wrong. They’re not doing anything wrong and I applaud them."
As for last weekend’s P&L youth gatherings, "There were a couple hundred kids," Nigro says. "But when you spread them out over the perimeter of the P&L District, it wasn’t that crowded."
And the boycott? Non issue, Nigro says.
"Friday was a little slow with Eminem and everything but Saturday was busy," Nigro says.