Senior center may need tavern license |

Senior center may need tavern license

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Community and Senior Center needs a tavern license, according to the state liquor board. But assistant county attorney Frank Celico said that doesn’t mean anyone should look for the center to become The Summit County Bar and Grill.

“It’s really for administrative purposes,” he said.

An enforcement officer from the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division will meet with center officials early next month to explain the need for the license. According to state statute, it is unlawful to consume alcohol in a public place without a license. It’s also illegal to sell liquor to the public for consumption on the premises.

A tavern license allows the sale of liquor for consumption in a public place, an option county officials want to leave open for the center.

Currently, the center obtains a one-day license for events during which liquor is served, but the state limits the use of a one-day permit to 10 events a year. State liquor enforcement officials say it would be cheaper and more efficient for the center to buy a one-year license.

“Every time you get a special event permit, you have to go through the same licensing procedure,” said assistant county attorney Frank Celico. “Certain groups who use the center on a regular basis would like to be able to serve alcohol on more than 10 occasions a year. We’re looking into the feasibility of getting a tavern license for the community center in order to ease the administrative burden.”

The Over the Hill Gang is one of the groups that serves liquor during its gatherings. Club members have wine and cheese during the group’s weekly winter gatherings at the center.

“We can’t collect any money for the liquor,” said group member Nancy Macey. “People bring it and we all share it.”

A liquor license would allow the center to open for community events during which alcohol could be served. Those events could include wedding receptions and other parties.

“For example, we’re going to do the county holiday party there,” Celico said, adding that the event typically features a cash bar. “The county wants to have the community use it as much as possible.”

Celico said the county is looking to the Silverthorne pavilion as a model. Silverthorne contracts out catering services there to a four-partner company called Pavilion Beverage Concessionaires, which provides alcohol for pavilion events.

“The county doesn’t want to be the license holder,” Celico said. “We’re looking at what options there are out there for actually licensing to a different entity.

“We are really in the process of kind of figuring out what we should do with this.”

If the center gets a liquor license, County Commissioner Bill Wallace said some of the seniors likely will be required to take alcohol server training. Wallace said he understands why the seniors want the option of serving alcohol.

“It gets to a time in your life when you’ve got to have wine with your meal,” he said. “The doctor says a glass of good red wine keeps the cholesterol down.”

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