Business owners anxious as Carolina Fest road closures threaten sales



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There is new information regarding the opening festival for the Democratic National Convention.

Eyewitness News was the first to bring you exclusive details of Carolina Fest Thursday night.

WSOC-TVanchor Scott Wickersham is questioning how police will keep families safe. He found that many uptown business owners have the same question.

North Tryon Street will be closed for the festival on Labor Day.

There will be "entry points" needed in order to gain access.

It may be security checkpoints, but no one would explain exactly what will end up happening on that day. The many questions have business owners concerned.

Hasani Latif, owner of Pie in the Sky Pizza, is one of the business owners with questions.

"If there is a festival, we will lose business, said Latif.

Carolina Fest will be right outside his front door.

"No one wants to come in. That's the purpose of the festival, is to be on the street," said Latif.

Business owners on North Tryon Street said Friday's announcement just adds to a list of unanswered questions about security and what will be happening that week.

Eyewitness News asked Charlottes-Mecklenburg County Police Department if the "entry points" indicated on the map means there will be fences, metal detectors and weapon checkpoints. The question of how long those checks will take is also a huge concern.

CMPD said they will not be releasing those details until the event get closer.

Pub manager Tommy Clark was recently visited by CMPD and U.S. Capital Police, but was unsuccessful in his attempt to get security answers. He was told to expect a lot of people and road closures.

"With all the construction going on around here and the road closings, it's nothing different," said Clark.

But Latif said it will be very different for him. If sales on Labor Day are low, he'll cut his losses.

"If it is bad we will close the rest of the week, said Latif.

The Secret Service released its security plan for the Republican National Convention in Tampa earlier this week.

The information is expected to be released next week for Charlotte.