The new boundaries will include most of downtown Dayton and are expected to go into effect early this summer.
The City of Dayton has voted to approve a new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in Dayton. The new Downtown Dayton DORA includes a broader footprint of downtown Dayton and will incorporate the previously established Oregon District DORA into the new boundaries. Pending approval at the State level, the newly defined boundaries are expected to go into effect in mid-June of this year.
DORA was originally introduced in Dayton in 2020, centering in the Oregon District. Since that time, the program and its expansion has become a top priority to support businesses strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After extensive research and community outreach, and with the support of the Oregon District Business Association (ODBA) and other downtown businesses and organizations, the Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP) submitted an application for an expanded DORA in early 2023.
“Our primary goal with DORA and its expansion is to support our community of independent, small businesses that continue to struggle from COVID-19’s effects,” said Sandra K. Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “The expansion of DORA has remained a top priority for downtown Dayton’s recovery from the pandemic and we are grateful we have been able to work closely with our constituents and city leaders to allow so much more of downtown to be included in the program.”
A DORA is a space that allows patrons 21 years and older to purchase alcoholic beverages in a designated cup from a permitted establishment and then carry those beverages outside within the defined boundary. Alcohol obtained from sources other than participating businesses is not permitted inside the DORA boundary. Guests are encouraged to carry drinks served in designated DORA cups throughout the boundary, but all beverages must be finished or disposed of before entering another participating DORA establishment.
The Downtown Dayton DORA will be roughly bounded by Wilkinson Street to the west (with Main Street as the boundary south of Sixth Street), RiverScape MetroPark and the Great Miami River to the north (with First Street as the boundary east of Webster Street), Keowee Street to the east (with Webster Street as the boundary north of First Street), and Sixth Street to the south (with some areas stretching as far south as Washington Street and Jones/Bainbridge Street.) All boundaries will be marked with metal signs signaling when guests enter and exit the DORA.
DORA will operate seven days a week from noon until midnight. Dayton’s City Manager will have the ability to suspend the DORA in specific situations such as emergencies or threats to public safety. DORA may also be suspended in full or in specific areas when petitioned by the DDP, the Water Street District, or the ODBA. Other organizations wishing to request a suspension may work with the DDP to submit a formal request.