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Avon to create list of troublemaking barflies

Dustin Racioppi
dracioppi@vaildaily.com
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado “-Not only is it ski season in the Vail Valley, it’s also bar season, when out-of-towners sample the local establishments and mingle with the locals.

And with it comes problems, which is why Avon police hosted about 30 local bar managers and employees to review rules and regulations and remind them of their responsibilities, like denying somebody a drink or checking for fake ID’s.

Thursday’s seminar also spurred a new plan to help keep the local scene safe from habitual drunkards and people causing problems in town. In a unanimous vote from the crowd “-with representatives from ZaccaZa, Bob’s Place, Agave and other local bars and restaurants “-it was decided the department should create a habitual offender list to be shared among all local establishments that sell alcohol to keep an eye out for the proven troublemakers.



“We need to work as a team, and we need your cooperation in doing so,” Officer Yvonne Ramirez said.

She added that the list is so “everyone can have access to it, and, if that person shows up at your bar, you can choose not to let them in.”



Dealing with staggering drunks and barflies with beer muscles isn’t just a problem, it’s a common occurrence in the area, especially in the winter, Ramirez said. She played a recent 911 call where a fight broke out at a nearby bar, police showed up and settled the situation, but now one of the people involved is accusing police of using excessive force, causing the department at least 40 hours spent on an investigation so far, according to Police Chief Brian Kozak.

“This is something we deal with sometimes on a nightly basis, especially on Friday and Saturday nights,” Ramirez said.

It’s those instances the department feels could be avoided, and think the list ” along with being able to recognize a problem and stop it ” will help.



“We really want for you to be aware of what’s going on,” Kozak said. “Once we become involved, things can really turn bad, and we’re trying to prevent that.”

Even though Finnegan’s Wake General Manager Mike Welle said he and his staff communicate with their neighbors at Loaded Joe’s about problematic patrons, he said a solid database would benefit everyone.

“It definitely helps. We do communicate, but if there’s a habitual offender and we throw them out, this communication goes a long way,” he said. “The more we can work together the better off we are. (Problems) don’t need to happen, especially this time of year.”

Bob’s Place General Manager Chris Doyle said his bar and restaurant has a zero tolerance policy, but that doesn’t help anybody but Bob’s Place unless he passes on his experiences by word of mouth. He’s all for the list, but only if it’s used responsibly.

“As long as it doesn’t become a personal vendetta,” Doyle said.

Ramirez said the department will likely take the winter to compile the list, and Thursday’s decision was a good starting point for reducing the stress on the department and making sure everybody behaves themselves in the bars.

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or dracioppi@vaildaily.com.


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