There were no better years for Main Street in downtown Houston than 2004 and 2006.
The city was lucky enough to host the Super Bowl in ’04 and then the NBA All Star game two years later.
Clubs, bars, and restaurants were packed with patrons from Wednesday thru early Sunday morning.
But as the big events disappeared the nightclub machine in downtown Houston began an aggressive effort to genereate more revenue.
That admission fee wouldn’t have been so bad if downtown visitors didn’t also have to contend with the parking sharks.
Those companies that operated the parking lots had Houstonians at their mercy with rates of $20 to $40 for evening parking.
In addition to that – let’s not forget the aggressive homeless population.
In some cases they ran game on downtown customers who were lucky enough to find free parking spaces.
Some transients were intimidating drivers or in some cases essentially shaking them down to guarantee their vehicles wouldn’t be vandalized when they returned from a night of partying.
That crazy mix resulted in the growing list of empty businesses in downtown Houston today.
Just walk down Main and see the number of for sale or lease signs posted on former popular hot spots.
Clubs like the Cotton Exchange, The Mercury Room, and M Bar have all disappeared into the night.
Houston will have a second chance at renewed life in the downtown area this coming week because of the return of the NBA All Star game.
But this potential resurrection of downtown nightlife on Main Street Houston will be in the hands of the business owners again.
Will they make the same mistakes and charge patrons outrageous fees for club entry and parking?
The answer is likely yes and there will be another dry spell which will result in the death of the nightlife on Main Street Houston once again.
What do you think?