Many may argue that the title of this story is a bit harsh, but hear me out…
Once again the council of Limassol has stepped in and closed another nightlife center, Galatex, AGAIN. This following the revoking of licenses for Guaba Beach Bar a month or so before, it shows that Limassol’s council has decided, it can survive without the income provided by tourists, who used to attend Limassol’s clubs and bars. I guess it does not bother them if the local industries who relied on these tourists can survive.
OK, so what happened now? Many of you may remember the official closing of Galatex in March 2007, which didn’t last long with Sahara Bar being opened in August that year, with Hyper Bar opening soon after. Well… Galatex been closed again, with licenses being revoked due to ‘noise complaints’.
Many will argue that it’s OK as the new bars such as Sahara and Hyper were never as busy as their previously named bars; Full Monty and Down Under respectively. But this is also a problem which could have been avoided by the council: Upgrading The Scene.
People liked ‘Tourist Area’ for its drink promotions and relaxed environment. Which the council complained created too much anti-social behavior. And many of us would agree that this is an effect of cheaper alcohol being available. However, as soon as troubles started the local Police should have stepped in to maintain the atmosphere, maybe even installed surveillance equipment to keep crime and violence out of the region. Granted, the violence was getting worse, but it was still at a low enough level to be dealt with effectively.
When Galatex ‘re-opened’ the bars went from the ‘local watering holes’ they were known for, to becoming ‘higher class’ lounges. Maybe the managers thought this is what their clientele wanted, or maybe they were forced to do so to regain their licenses. But with rising drink prices and more ‘face-control’, both tourists and local clubbers sought something else. Whether we look at the GUABA movement, with its key-phrase ‘only for party people, not for posers‘, or the constant migration of locals to other towns like Paphos and Ayia Napa for their nightlife fix, or even the fact that Limassol’s beaches and restaurants have never been as quiet as last Summer, we realise something is going wrong.
During a conversation with some friends earlier, they asked, what can we do? I ask you now, Lemeshiani, fellow party people, local business people, bar owners… stand together and lets show the local council what we want and need.
Bring Back our Party Scene, Bring Back our Tourism, Bring Back our Economy.
We don’t need million dollar bail-outs, we need you (the local governing bodies) to open your minds and offer a haven to the party animals of Europe who refuse to pay 10 Euro for a drink nor want to wear smart clothes to be allowed entry to a bar. Galatex did it well, you couldn’t maintain it, Guaba took it over, you couldn’t control it, stop closing these movements down, but embrace them into your plans for the development of the town and it’s businesses.