License pending for discount liquor store
AVON – The latest discount store dreamed up by local developer Magnus Lindholm could be a reality if Avon town officials agree to allow a fourth liquor store in town.
James Valerio, an Aspen businessman, is planning to sell discounted liquor at the Village at Avon, Lindholm’s expanding commercial and residential development on the east end of town. The proposed 4,000-square-foot Village Warehouse Wines would be located at Traer Creek Plaza, which Lindholm plans to build next to Wal-Mart and The Home Depot.
On Tuesday, after hearing from the public and Valerio’s attorney, the Avon Local Liquor Licensing Authority, which has the same members as the town council, postponed a decision on whether it will grant a liquor license for the store. The authority has 30 days to make a decision.
To meet the requirements for the license, Valerio has to prove there’s a need for a new liquor store, said John Dunn, the attorney for the town of Avon.
“The authority makes a decision based on the evidence presented, including petitions and public comment,” Dunn said.
A study conducted by Valerio shows that 80 percent of 362 people polled in East Avon – within a mile from where the liquor store will be – approve of a new liquor store in town. About 15 percent opposed it, most of them saying there isn’t a need for another liquor store in Avon, where there are currently there such shops.
But Valerio said future residents at the Village at Avon would benefit from a new liquor store.
“It will be a very competitively priced store,” Valerio said. “It will compete with all major liquor stores in Colorado.”
For example, a case of Budweiser, which costs about $22 to $24 in local liquor stores, will cost $17 at his store, Valerio said.
Kelly Hogan, one of the owners of Avon Liquors, said the time isn’t right for a new liquor store.
“(Lindholm) should build the neighborhood first and then show the need,” Hogan said at Tuesday’s meeting. “It’s unprecedented to build a liquor store first and then the new homes.”
David Courtney of Beaver Liquors agreed.
“When things happen, I welcome the competition,” he told the liquor authority.
But others said it should be up to shoppers.
“The market should dictate whether a liquor store will make it,” said Michael Cacioppo, who lives in Avon.
Lindholm, who plans to bring other discount stores to the valley, including a gas station, said more competition is needed in the valley.
“In Applejacks you pay $14 for a case of Budweiser. In the valley, you pay $22,” Lindholm said, referring to a large discount liquor store found on the Front Range. “The new store will make it cheaper for ordinary people to live here. Not everybody who lives here is a millionaire.”
Staff writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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