Liquor license for State Bridge Lodge OK’d |

Liquor license for State Bridge Lodge OK’d

Veronica Whitney

The case had been pending an investigation that centered around whether the establishment over-served a Vail man before he was killed in a car accident in June.Earlene Roach, county liquor inspector, recommended approval, saying the investigation by state liquor enforcement officers showed there wasn’t any evidence of over-serving.”The law says we have to prove they served a visibly intoxicated person,” Roach said, “and we didn’t have the proof.”The commissioners granted the renewal with two conditions:- That in two weeks the owners of the establishment, Bobbi and Michael Parks of State Bridge Corporation, supply them with an alcohol management plan.- That by Oct. 1 they come back for a review of the plan.The plan, which now is required for any new liquor license application, states policies and procedures for selling alcohol, said Eagle County Clerk & Recorder Sara Fisher.For example, an employee of a bar should be stationed at the exit to make sure people who are leaving aren’t intoxicated.John Ambrose, 23, of Vail, was killed instantly when his SUV swerved off Highway 131 and crashed. His blood alcohol level was 0.320, police said, more than three times the 0.10 legal limit in Colorado.Ambrose was last seen at State Bridge late on June 2, where he had been drinking with friends.Police reports say he was driving south on Highway 131 north of Wolcott at more than twice the 40 mph speed limit when his 1995 GMC Yukon traveled out of control for approximately 455 feet before going airborne for approximately 182 feet. He died of head and neck injuries.Kim Hiler, Ambrose’s girlfriend, who had been partying with him that night, told police she hadn’t noticed Ambrose being or acting intoxicated when he left. At the scene of the accident, police found four beer cans, which may have come from Ambrose’s car, they said.State Bridge Lodge, on the banks of the Colorado River, is a big gathering for kayakers and rafters. It is also a popular concert venue that attracts as many as 300 people on weekends during the summer.”We do everything to make the place safe,” Parks said. “Our staff is well-trained to handle liquor.”Parks said once the lodge runs out of cabins – there are nine for rent – they encourage people to camp, which is free. In addition, they serve food until 10 p.m. and have complimentary chips throughout night.Establishments that sell alcohol have to renew their liquor license every year. The Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office issues 110 liquor licenses a year.Before recommending a renewal of a liquor license, Roach said she does a simple investigation to see if there had been any complaints of disturbance to the Eagle County Sheriffs Office.Since the license was first issued in August 1997, Bobbi Parks said, State Bridge Lodge never had a problem in renewing it.Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at

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