Tyler has grown to a population of over 100,000. The city can really no longer be considered "small town." With that growth comes change. Change IS NOT easy for anyone, especially when it comes to a place you've called home for many years if not your entire life, like myself. One thing that really needs to change in Tyler is the lack of a night life.

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Sunday through Friday nights, Tyler's nightlife is required to shut it's doors at midnight. Saturday night can go until a whopping 1 a.m. This needs to change. The growth of Texas College, Tyler Junior College and University of Texas at Tyler has brought more young people to this city. Those young people are looking for something to do. Like it or not, that something to do MUST extend past midnight.

"Nightlife only brings debauchery and crime!" Stop using this excuse. It was used with no facts to back it up when Tyler was going through it's wet/dry vote years ago. It didn't work nor was it convincing. "Drunk driving will only increase if bars and night clubs are open later?" Not really. Plus, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available in Tyler now. People can use those to get to their nightly excursions.

Maybe I'm just being petty with that last paragraph but it's the excuses I hear over and over from anyone opposed to keeping bars and night clubs open later. How about I throw money into the mix? Keeping bars and night clubs open later would add sales tax revenue for the city. I'm no politician but that's a line that's always used when it comes to business, right? When would more sales tax coming into a city not be beneficial?

Something else to think about, so many harp about how many chain businesses are coming into Tyler. Well, most night clubs and bars are locally owned. Having more local businesses can't be a bad thing, right? That means hard working East Texans would have a better chance to make more money.

I'm no business person, though. I'm certainly not a politician. I'm just a local radio jock wanting the people of Tyler, who want to enjoy some late night beverages with their friends, to be able to do it in a place other than their couch.

I'll end with this plea to the bars and night clubs of Tyler, come together and start pushing back at the City of Tyler to expand your hours. Maybe it'll take a petition like the wet/dry vote. I would sign it as I think a lot of the people of Tyler would. To the City of Tyler, maybe have a truly open discussion about moving Tyler's closing time past midnight before anyone brings it up to you. I believe Tyler could only benefit from it.

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