COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The process to obtain alcohol permits for some Collier County parks could get a little easier. While some leaders see this as a win-win, allowing them to serve a broader clientele, some parents worry a park is the wrong place for drinking.
The idea came up after several clients expressed interest in holding wine and cheese socials, fundraisers and weddings at county parks. The Parks and Recreation Department hopes to make the alcohol permitting process one step easier, approving permits themselves rather than going through commissioners each time.
"I think there could be a financial impact in a positive direction, yes," Park Ranger Jake Sullivan said. "It would allow us to broaden our clientele.
With permits, beer, wine and champagne would be allowed to be consumed or sold at:
-Sugden Regional Park
-North Collier Regional Park/Exhibit Hall
-Collier County-owned marinas at Port of the Islands and Goodland Boat Park
-Golden Gate Community Center
Drinks must remain within the rented area, with glass and styrofoam prohibited. "There is an application process, there are insurance requirements, there are security requirements, and all of these things have to be met before they would gain approval," Sullivan said.
The idea got mixed reaction around the playground. "I absolutely do not think it should be allowed," Monique Mielke said watching her child. "I think that should be a safe place for children without alcohol."
"Maybe if it was like, an evening event with older children, adults, then I think it would be okay," Naples mother Alicia Karakostan said.
Sullivan says the county strives to maintain a safe, family-oriented park environment, and that will not change.
"We are not talking about a bunch of kids or underage people coming into the parks, we are talking about people who want to have a nice, refined evening," Sullivan said.
There are some locations alcohol would not be permitted such as swimming pools, playgrounds and ball fields. The policy of no alcohol at county park beaches will remain the same. Commissioners will vote on the resolution Tuesday.