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Colorado legislators hope to extend to-go alcohol sales

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DENVER (KRDO) -- State legislators in Colorado are currently discussing allowing restaurants to continue serving takeout and delivery alcohol, which is currently legal under one of Gov. Jared Polis' executive orders.

Greg Howard, President of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Colorado Restaurants Association and part-owner of Slinger's Smokehouse and Saloon, said, “It’s going to take quite a while for us to recover financially, so the alcohol sales to-go has proven to be a great new stream of revenue.”

The idea, which was put forward by Republican State Sen. Kevin Priola, could help even more during this pandemic. Allowing restaurants to continue to sell takeout alcohol, extending the governor's executive order.

Priola said, “The draft of the bill would have basically the governor’s executive order expire July 1st of 2022.”

The Colorado Restaurant Association reports that 87% of restaurants generate revenue from alcohol. Howard is pushing heavily for this extension.

“I know some of the restaurants in town have had great results with selling alcohol to-go. There are some new rules and regulations coming down from liquor enforcement, we are following all of those rules of course and that’s why we want to push this forward a bit so that we can benefit financially from selling alcohol to go,” said Howard.

But what does this mean for local liquor stores? Just last year, they lost some business when stores were allowed to start selling full-strength beer, so does this potential idea concern them as well? Justin Roach, the General Manager for Veterans Wine and Liquor says it’s too soon to tell but, ultimately doesn’t think it will be a major issue.

“They’ve been doing to go alcohol while this has all been going on and we have not seen a dip, we’ve seen an increase so I don’t think it’s really a big threat. Again we are all for them getting back on their feet,” said Roach.

But there are some hoops to jump through before this bill can move forward. Because of how far lawmakers are already into the legislative session, Priola will need permission from Democratic leadership to introduce a bill this late.

The current executive order that allows restaurants to sell alcohol for takeout or delivery is set to expire at the end of this month.

Colorado Springs / Local News / News

Kolby Crossley

Kolby is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Kolby here.

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