300 metres; does this length matter?
Never has such a short distance caused so much consternation to so many…
Whilst there is some clarity still needed, if the new laws promulgated by the Thai Government are implemented and then enforced, broadly speaking no establishment will be allowed to serve alcohol within 300 metres of a university, vocational college or school.
Whether this is practical, desirable or right is not for this article to discuss.
We’d rather look at the impact of this on local businesses, many who need alcohol sales to supplement their food sales and, in turn, pay the relatively high rents.
In Chiang Mai we have the added implication of there being so many temples in and around the old city—in theory, we understand alcohol sales are not allowed within a certain radius of temples (although there are clearly “exceptions” and one only has to think of all of the bars and restaurants congregated along Loy Kroh Road to realise that this is not strictly enforced).
So what will be the impact be of these proposed changes?
Well, we can’t list them all but some may well include:
- Some businesses may be forced to close permanently
- Some will simply change their business models (sell more food or other items)
- Some will relocate to be outside of the designated areas, although the costs of moving and refitting premises will be high
As has often been suggested, maybe there will be designated “entertainment areas” created after all (where is not clear!) and bars can relocate and congregate there as in certain parts of Bangkok or Phuket
Demand for suitable retail premises outside the 300 metre zone will increase whilst, clearly, there may be more vacancies within the said zones… with maybe a drop in rentals?
Only time will tell; from our side we have started to received enquiries about new premises from some concerned bar owners and operators and have started to try to identify appropriate locations.
What do you think? Is this new proposal workable and what impact do you foresee on the CM retail property market? What is the likely impact on the areas around CM old city if most of the existing bars move?
Please let us know your thoughts and comments below, but please stay away from any political comments as they will not be published.
Latest update :Sunday 23rd August 2015 by Perfect Homes Chiang Mai
Well many people said the new laws would not be enforced. It looks like you were correct.
Over the last few days the poeple we know that were given notice by the army, just as this law was anounced (all in a day). Have now been infomred that they may continue to sell alcohol. But must follow the same laws as the Seven Eleven’s. Meaning that they can not sell any alcohol between 2 & 5 during the day and must stop selling at midnight.
This step back has given many owners the chance to breathe again but with a slightly unclear future.
Perfect Homes is a leading Chiang Mai real estate agency with extensive experience in the city, regionally, nationally and internationally.