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New Sacramento study recommends ways to improve the city’s entertainment economy

A new study recommends the city of Sacramento improve its entertainment economy through measures such as overhauling the permitting system, establishing a rideshare center in Midtown, and creating guides for venue operators and event organizers.

The study results, which Nighttime Economy Manager Tina Lee-Vogt presented to the City Council on Tuesday, are available three months after publication in Sacramento Music counting. The census was the first study of the local music economy and the report highlighted the need for more live music venues.

While the new Sociable City Assessment makes similar recommendations, Lee-Vogt said it takes a more holistic approach to the city’s social economy compared to the Music Census. The study focuses on Midtown and downtown, but Lee-Vogt said the results are applicable citywide

“We know there are opportunities throughout Sacramento for people to eat, play and socialize,” Lee-Vogt said.

Two of the reports’ key recommendations are the creation of multiple types of entertainment permits and a one-stop shop for event operators and event organizers to get help with city paperwork. Both recommendations are similar to those made by Mayor Darrell Steinberg in one of his recommendations Events on the state of the city in August.

Sacramento currently offers one type of venue permit: Lee-Vogt previously told CapRadio. She said offering different types of permits could open up opportunities, such as allowing brewpubs to host bands for a lower annual license fee than what a nightclub pays.

The Music Census, which forms the basis for Steinberg’s State of the City recommendations, also suggested Sacramento streamline its entertainment permitting process. Creating a one-stop shop for venue approvals can reduce hurdles, the census and new Sociable City Assessment found.

During Tuesday’s review discussion, Steinberg offered to help bring policy changes to the council for approval before his term ends in December 2024.

“My time is running out here, and this is a big initiative,” Steinberg said, referring to the end of his term as mayor in December 2024. “And I just want to make sure that the changes are made so that we can start implementing them “The product of the work you do is so important.”

Lee-Vogt said city staff may propose changes to the city code in January or February. She needs to work with the attorney general’s office to formulate policy changes that the council can vote on, she added.

The city has been working on the Sociable City Assessment since January, when it signed a contract with the Responsible Hospitality Institute. About 100 people took part in the study, including social venue operators, neighborhood associations and music and cultural activists, Lee-Vogt said.

Other recommendations from the assessment include notifying communities of upcoming events, creating a permit for private parking near social venues, and improving downtown lighting to increase pedestrian safety.

Overall, Lee-Vogt said the recommendations are a starting point for the Office of Night Economy implement a plan to ensure the city has a safe and vibrant entertainment economy.

The office is also working with consultants on a store study of the social and economic contributions that dining and entertainment businesses make in Midtown and Downtown. The office hopes to receive the results in early 2024, Lee-Vogt said.

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