RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- A lot of people living in Russellville want to step into the 21st century when it comes to alcohol sales.

Russellville Mayor, Randy Horton, said students at Arkansas Tech University play a big part in the wet versus dry debate.

“Students can't spend money in the Russellville economy if they're not in Russellville,” he said. “It's known as a suitcase University, they keep a bag packed and so as soon as class is over they hit the road. They go somewhere where they can dance and look for entertainment and alcohol is almost always a feature of that.”

Mayor Horton said they could have more attractive venues for students to spend the weekend in Russellville. He said students staying could produce revenue, but this debate is a decision the community has to make, not him.

People THV11 talked to felt there are pros and cons to having liquor stores in the city. Robert Wiley said alcohol would create more problems.

“I had two accidents back when I was younger from drunk drivers. I almost got killed twice, I think you have some problems whenever you have alcohol,” he said.

Tabitha Taylor disagreed, she said she wouldn't mind a closer trip to the liquor store.


“I'm 24 year-old and I take a trip to Blackwell once a week at least and that's 20 minutes that could save me gas money. A closer trip could also save me a trip and it could stimulate the Russellville economy,” she said.

Beau Harris said he's tired of having to leave the city to have fun.

“I think we could get more events here and it would have less people go to Conway and Fayetteville and Little Rock and keep our Tech student's here and not go to other colleges. It’ll bring more people here in Russellville,” he said.

The students THV11 talked to told us about the forty challenge, where students try to chug a whole forty on the trip back from Blackwell. So they said changing to a wet county could potentially save a life. THV11 reached out to Arkansas Tech University for their thoughts but they had no comment.