Wilmington considers DORA — Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area downtown

By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com

WILMINGTON — A new to experience, enjoy, and enhance the downtown area is in the works.

During Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, a public discussion was held on a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) for the downtown area.

Main Street Wilmington and Jason Vaughan, owner of TinCap, spoke to council and indicated that DORA is nothing new to Ohio — 38 cities have already established similar areas.

“We’re not the first by any means, but we want to get on the bandwagon,” said Vaughan.

DORA is a way to help stimulate and promote businesses, primarily in downtown areas, according to Vaughan.

“It’s been a big part of revitalization projects,” he said.

DORA is a designated public area where alcoholic drinks can be purchased in a disposable cup (with a DORA sticker) from permitted establishments. Locals can then carry the drink within that area, according to Main Street Wilmington’s “Enjoy a Night Out With DORA” document draft.

An example Vaughan gave was that someone could purchase a drink at TinCap and then go visit the Art House located across street. But the drink can not be taken to another alcohol seller in the area; an example he gave was that a person who bought a drink at TinCap would not be able to take it to The Escape for food.

“This is going to be a low-cost feature in our downtown area. This will help stimulate business growth now and in the future,” said Vaughan.

Councilmember Kristi Fickert asked about anticipated costs for DORA.

City Administrator Marian Miller said, when looking at collateral material, the initial kickoff could cost $4,000. After a six-month trial period, the city will evaluate the expenses again and look toward the best way to assess costs in the future.

Miller also advised the city is trying to be “very selective” when looking at all their options, including looking at getting DORA stickers instead of purchasing DORA cups.

“We didn’t want to put that burden on us initially and then on the businesses later,” she said, “because most businesses have their own disposable cups. So, as long as they are stickered correctly, they can be used for DORA.”

Vaughan encouraged council to look at the materials and to check out nearby DORA locations such as Lebanon or Chillicothe.

“If you go and look at these places, these are nice, well-kept areas,” said Vaughan. “People were out and about enjoying themselves. That’s the vision for this.”


By John Hamilton


Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574