LIFE CYCLES OF NIGHTLIFE DISTRICTS
Nightlife districts (a.k.a. hospitality
zones) cycle through four distinct cycles:
district hosts unique social venues and attracts young risk-takers
at night. Venues may be located in unconventional spaces
(e.g. warehouses) on streets with more vacancies than
occupied venues. Only the most daring enter these
trendy, up-and-coming districts, as they may not feel as
safe as more developed districts.
Developed: As an
emerging district gains popularity, new businesses open,
which spurs development of retail, residential housing,
and professional services. A developed district has a
steady stream of foot traffic during the day and
evening. There is a stable number of businesses, with
more occupancies than vacancies. The district may host a
variety of locally-owned cafes, restaurants, bars and
Mature: A developed
district's commerical success may increase real estate values,
which drive out local and independent businesses. They
are replaced by regional
or national chains. New residents may complain about the
social activity that drew them to the district in the
first place, which can result in tensions between
residential and commercial uses. Music and nightlife
venues may be displaced to other districts.
Declining: The growth
of high-occupancy nightlife businesses can push out non-hospitality
businesses that drew patrons during the day and early
evening. Declining districts are characterized by an
imbalance in uses by time of day or mix of business
Crime and disorder may increase to the point that public safety
and quality of life
is severely compromised to the point of deterioration.
Real estate values plummet and so, businesses may resort
to risky practices to continue to attract patrons.
The same district may
cycle through these stages multiple
What is the Impact of a District's Life
Cycle on its Nightlife Management Plan?
Each district life stage requires different strategies and
Adjustments to city services and resource
allocation can help stabilize a district before it enters
the next life cycle. For example, reorienting police
deployment, utilizing private security, and coordinating
transportation are critical tools for district management.
assistance to new businesses earlier in the application process can prevent
the loss of start-up capital due to delays in permits and
licenses. Organization of business improvement districts and
instituting clean and safe programs can also prevent decline.
How does RHI Evaluate your Districts'
RHI evaluates a district's life
stage by inquiring about the evolution of the district, the
patrons it serves, times of day it operates and the mix of
businesses present in the district, as well as the current
approach to public safety management and business support
services. Read more about
RHI's approach to working with cities in our services