Orange County

Downtown Orlando bars prepare for New Year’s Eve with safety in mind

ORLANDO, Fla. — In Downtown Orlando, bars will ring in the new year this weekend.

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Some bar owners spoke to Channel 9 about how they getting ready for the big night.

Most places understand the preparations needed because most New Year’s Eve parties require event tickets.

But staff at local bars said they will still plan for various situations just in case.

Read: 9 safety tips for you and your family as you ring in the new year

From block parties to bowl games, downtown bars in Orlando have seen a big boost in business.

“They’re all stocked up and ready to go, and hopefully they won’t let anyone down,” said Jay Peeper, Church Street event director.

Read: Orlando police prepare to keep community safe during New Year’s Eve celebrations

The momentum is still building as thousands of people plan to go downtown to watch the clock strike midnight on Saturday.

Peeper said his side of town is expected to be quiet on the weekend, but he helps with another party down the road. He said the New Year’s Eve block party at Wall Street Plaza brings the Orlando community.

Read: How to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Central Florida

With more people out and about, police have some warnings before you get behind the wheel.

“The city is gearing up for a busy weekend with crowds of people biking, driving and walking,” Orlando Police said in a social media post on Friday.

Read: Celebrate the new year with Crayola Experience Orlando

Police said it’s important to stay alert no matter how you plan to get from place to place, and bar staff will also be watching.

Mark Moravec, the senior vice president of operations on Church Street, said there will be a large amount of management to monitor the event.

“All our bartenders are trained to make sure that people maintain the right level of alcohol,” Moravec said.

Moravec said that for the downtown event to succeed, the possibility of surprises must be low.

“It does take a lot of planning,” he said. “And you kind of have to over-plan, simply because you don’t know who is going to show up these days and who is not going to show up.”

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