Politics, booze could be big business in Danville due to VP debate


by Gene Kang


Posted on October 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 10 at 6:25 AM

(WHAS11) -- Things have changed since Centre College hosted the Vice Presidential Debate in 2000. This time around there is five times the security after 9/11. Since then the ban on alcohol sales was lifted. That means businesses are thirsty for a profit.

Vice President Joe Biden and GOP candidate Paul Ryan are set to go toe-to-toe Thursday night during their only debate. The nation's eyes are focused on election season with Centre College taking center stage.

"Definitely more patriotic. We were observing all the fire hydrants and different flags and things hanging off of buildings," said Frances Fisher, Centre College Junior.

American flags line businesses in Danville, a town of about only 16,000 people. Security fences are up as Kentucky State Police work with Secret Service. Streets have been repaved. But why this small town of all places to hold a debate?

"The three things that make it possible here. One is that we have facilities you would not expect at Centre College and great people and a spirit about Danville and Boyle County," said John Roush, Centre College President.

"We have a wonderful city and county government that's capable of doing so many things," said wife of Centre College President Susie Miller Roush and a Centre College volunteer.

Locals have named this year's debate "Thrill in the 'Ville II" with their first held 12 years ago.

"Centre has had a huge initiative of trying to get all the students to vote. We're excited about being more civically engaged," said Anielia Polak, Centre College Senior.

As thousands descend upon the small town, many hope for a big economic boost.

The ban on alcohol sales lifted in 2010. Wayne and Jane's Wine and Whisky Bar says they're ready to party whether you lean blue or red. Their new "Left Wing" cocktails include the Commander in Chief, Biden's Tongue, The Liberal and The Entitled 47 percent. Or if you're "Right Wing" -The Romney Rickey, Ryan's Budget, The Legitimate 53 percent and The Conservative.

"We're aiming to give the best hospitality possible not from the wet angle. Particularly our bar, we have made fun of both sides the the Democrats and Republicans," said Mary Spoonamore, Wayne and Jane's Wine and Whisky Bar owner.

There's no debate that business owners believe the mix of politics and  booze will be quite refreshing.

Several independent businesses have popped up since the last debate in Danville. We are told there are no more public tickets for Thursday but there will be jumbo screens near the campus.