In the past couple of years, it seemed that Prohibition had finally come to an end in Denver as Liquor Stores were officially allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays. For over 75 years, Denver Liquor stores were not allowed to be open or to sell alcohol on Sundays due to the fact that the "blue laws" were still on the book. Needless to say, this has caused controversy and limited business to some of Colorado's longest running family-owned businesses; the liquor stores. The battle raged on both sides of the proposed legislation until finally in July, 2008, it became legal for the liquor stores to open their doors on Sundays.
Now, there seems to be another battle looming for the liquor stores. In the current Colorado Legislative session, House Bill 10-1279 makes some very interesting proposals that have Denver's Resident's divided.
The Bill Summary States as follows:
On or after January 1, 2011, the bill allows a grocery store to apply
to the state and local licensing authorities, as part of a single application,
to transfer ownership and change the location of a licensed retail liquor
store and to convert the retail liquor store license to a liquor-licensed
drugstore license, thereby allowing the grocery store, if the application is
approved, to sell malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors.
At face value, this seems like it would be a very good idea. Part of the struggle behind this proposed Legislation is the fact that many of the liquor stores in Colorado are family-owned small businesses. If the large grocery store chains are allowed to come in and buy up their licenses, and in effect their businesses, the small businesses will be the ones to lose out. They will be replaced by the Corporate Chains, and many mom-and-pop organizations will be out of business.
Denver is home to many liquor store chains, and when Governor Bill Ritter signed the bill in 2008 to allow them o be open on Sundays, it helped to bring Denver into the new century by wiping out a 75-year old law, and gave them a chance to compete with the larger businesses in Colorado. This new Legislation would basically wipe that chance, as well as a lot of these small businesses out.
The Bill is Proposed by Representatives McFadyen (Democrat - Fremont/Pueblo - Small Business Owner), Balmer (Republican - Arapahoe), Casso (Democrat - Adams), and Pommer (Democrat - Boulder).