There are indications that the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen may move to bend but not break their longtime rule against walking around with a beer or cocktail on the Strip.
The board’s intransient position on this matter finally led organizers of one of the most popular Strip events — the Shootout Meet and Greet — to explore alternative locations. Laurie threw out the welcome mat so fast that it apparently made some heads spin on the Lake Ozark board.
A couple of aldermen who have been adamant about not bending the rules in the past appear unwilling to consider any compromise. The majority of the board sees a valuable event heading west and seems ready to work something out. The city administrator is rightly worried about liability for a municipality that has long tested the patience of its insurance carriers and the police chief, as is his way, warns that the sky is falling.
There seems to be an issue of fairness involved. If the board bends the rules for the Shootout but not for other events, will organizers of the rebuffed festivities be offended? Will that offense turn into some kind of litigation? Or will other event organizers demonstrate their displeasure by simply finding another venue?
It will be interesting to see how Strip bar owners respond to the proposed requirement that one hundred percent of them must sign off on shared liability.
It does appear that the board is prepared to make so many rules and regulations governing the event that there won’t be much fun had anyway. Perhaps the board can save the revenue generated by the Shootout event without changing their curmudgeon image.
The board would do well to find a reasonable way out of the corner they have painted themselves into. We hope they can find a way to retain the Shootout event without incurring undo liability and without alienating the organizers of other events. We are not optimistic.