Will anyone in Vail sell you liquor on Sunday?
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” If proposed legislation passes you might be able to pick up wine with your groceries or pick up drinks at a liquor store on Sundays.
Bills to change several Colorado laws are currently in the works that would allow liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays and allow grocery stores to sell stronger alcohol.
But some local liquor store owners say they do not want to see either law changed. Mickey Werner, manager of Alpine Wine and Spirits in Vail, said he has been keeping track of the legislation over the years. When other states have lifted their Sunday bans, studies show that sales tend to spike at first, and then level out, he said.
“So it doesn’t really add that much to sales,” he said.
The store does not really lose Sunday sales right now because most people know to make their purchases on Saturday, he said.
“We do have skiers from out of town who are disappointed we’re not open, but they get over it and come back Monday, or stock up on Saturday,” he said.
Allen Dibben, manager of Beaver Creek Fine Wines, said the store probably loses a small amount of Sunday sales, but not very much.
“With our location, we have a captured audience. People come up to ski and they’re here for several days. We just makes sure to tell them we’re closed on Sundays,” Dibben said.
David Courtney, owner of Beaver Liquors in Avon, said he doubts the law will be changed because smaller stores will oppose it.
Opening on Sundays would not affect bigger stores as much, but for small mom-and-pop stores, it will mean higher costs for additional employees and running the store an extra day, Courtney said.
“It’s going to affect them a lot. There’s just too much at stake,” he said.
Chris Kormanicki, manager of West Vail Liquor Mart, said the Sunday ban does not bother him because he prefers to have Sunday off.
“It gives us a day to regroup, and it’s not a big deal to most of our customers,” he said.
Also, if the store opened Sunday, they would definitely have to hire extra staff, he said.
“As of now, I enjoy having Sundays off as an employee. Otherwise that would mean working seven days a week, not six,” he said.
There have been several unsuccessful attempts to lift the Sunday ban in the past, most recently in 2005.
Another proposed law would allow grocery stores to sell more than beer. Right now stores can only sell beer that is 3.2 percent alcohol or less by weight. Also, each grocery chain is allowed to apply for a license to have one store in the state that can sell full-strength alcohol.
Allowing grocery stores to sell stronger alcohol might hurt liquor stores even more would be, Werner said.
Alpine Wine and Spirits is located inside Vail’s City Market, but is independently owned, he said, so if City Market started selling wine and liquor, that would really hurt his business.
Grocery stores, as bigger corporations, could buy alcohol at much lower prices, so that could hurt smaller liquor stores, Dibben said.
“That would put so much more stress on independent business owners. It would be hard to compete,” he said.
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.