Need more outlets for young adults

Published 10:17pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

When I first moved to Selma, I thought it would be difficult to find people my age to spend my free time with. Coming from a college town, I was used to having a large group of friends that I could call at anytime to grab a bite to eat with or catch a movie.

Thankfully, that worry of not finding anyone my age quickly went away when I found myself surrounded with several 20-something year olds at both work and in my neighborhood.

Since moving to the Black Belt I’ve met young people from California, several young adults working for Teach for America and a handful of recent college graduates — all right here in Selma. And although we always seem to find fun things to do on the weekend, whether that be visiting a new restaurant, seeing a movie at the Walton or just staying in and cooking dinner, I still think there could be more outlets for this growing population.

Selma is missing out on a huge revenue-making opportunity when it comes to young adults. Most of us are not married and don’t have the financial burden of supporting a family yet, so we have that disposable income and extra time to spend doing fun activities.

I think if more venues were to open that cater to this growing population — young adults — Selma would see a drastic increase in moneymaking opportunities. Live music, for example, is something that would easily attract crowds. We already have the restaurants—the Sandbar, New Orleans Bar and Grill, the Tally Ho— that all have the perfect set up for live bands. All we need is more publicity and more bands that cater to young adults to make these venues come to life on the weekends.

Also, it would help if these venues offered more flexible hours for young adults. Most of us don’t get off work until late, leaving us with a few hours to grab dinner and relax on Friday night. If these restaurants could extend their hours just a little, I think they would see large flocks of younger adults visiting their establishment and spending money past the dinner time hour.

Another valuable resource that I believe has great potential for this younger demographic is the river. The Alabama River has potential to attract many during the summer months with an array of water activities. If someone were to create a regulated rafting or canoeing business along the river, I think it would see great success during the South’s warmest months.

Also, if more young people were to stay in Selma because of it’s attractive activities, that could potentially mean more people settling down in Selma and raising families — just another benefit to add to the long list of why Selma should have more outlets for young adults.

 

  • popdukes12

    In the late ’70′s, and the early ’80′s there was a wealth of venues for the 21-30 year old population of Selma as you are describing. On Water Ave.alone there were five establishments like you are describing from Broad St to Franklin St. There was “The Crossing”, “Randy’s”, “The Warehouse”, and two other nice “clubs” on the south side of Water Ave. but their names escape me. Just across the river we had “Club 21″ and across from the Holiday Inn (on Highland Ave.) we had Charlie Browns. All of these establishments were geared for the “baby boomers”. The majority of the “boomers” left town during the ’90′s, taking the next generation of “clubbers” with them. The venues you described simply ran out of customers. The age demographic you are focused on that remain in Selma have (as a rule) very little disposable income, and are shown to be far more unruly as evidenced by the number of establishment that have been closed by the city recently. I my opinion, the twin cinema closed for much the same reason. To be fair, Club 21 and The Crossing both burned down and Randy’s closed due to the passing of it’s owner. The Tally -Ho does bring in live music, and I’ve never seen them close as long as there are ample clients there. Good luck. pops

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