Private Clubs Without 'Nightclub' Status

FEBRUARY 6, 2007 -- POSTED AT 9:00 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- Since the new alcohol rules were first introduced, many private clubs in Jonesboro have voiced their opposition including those that aren't really nightclubs.

"I think they're just trying to run everybody out of town and I think they will sooner or later," says Ed Brittain with the VFW.

Brittain is Post Commander for the VFW in Jonesboro. He says the proposed alcohol ordinance is not fair, claiming that all the private clubs in Jonesboro are having to pay for the mistakes that only a select few have made.

"It's going to have to come from the consumers and it's going to be hard because it will probably knock a few people from coming because most of them that come here are on a fixed income anyway," says Brittain.

Bob Trout is the President of Sage Meadows, another private club that doesn't thrive off their alcohol sales. He says the proposed alcohol gross sales tax is going to hurt the pocket of the consumer, not the club.

"If the idea of the city was to harm or make it difficult in some way on the private club to be able to handle this, then they missed the mark because quite frankly, it's just going to cost the consumer more," says Trout.

Another problem the clubs expect to have with the proposed ordinance are the mandatory background checks for their employees, something Trout says will be expensive for the clubs and could also create a paper jam for the city.

"You're going to have a lot of applications in a year that you're going to have to process and you're going to have to fool with and you're going to have to do it very quickly and in a very timely fashion and that's the biggest problem that I see with the whole thing," says Trout.

So, for those clubs that aren't nightclubs, they say they understand the need for the proposed ordinance. They just think the city doesn't have the right target.