City to study ‘resort’ liquor license changes

A proposal that would mean significant changes to the way liquor licenses operate in Revelstoke has received qualified, preliminary support from Revelstoke city council.

A proposal that would mean significant changes to the way liquor licenses operate in Revelstoke has received qualified, preliminary support from Revelstoke city council.

As reported in the May 25 issue of the Revelstoke Times Review, Last Drop pub manager Emma Kirkland and Powder Springs Resort owner Brydon Roe are leading a lobby that seeks to change liquor license rules in Revelstoke.

Currently, the rules at the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort are different than in the downtown core because resorts in B.C. have their own special category of liquor licenses. What this means is pubs at the resort can allow accompanied minors into the establishments before 8 p.m., then switch over to adults-only after that. In downtown Revelstoke, pubs must be food-primary or liquor-primary, meaning this is not allowed.

Kirkland and Roe hope to change the situation by extending the resort status to all of downtown. “People are using the community as a village as much as they are using the village itself,” Roe told council at their June 28 meeting.

Roe and Kirkland also referred to the fact that B.C. is has some of the most restrictive liquor rules in Canada, something that foreign visitors can find puzzling.

“I don’t really think there is a downside to it,” Roe told council. He added they’d received support from community members on the initiative. He also said it was his understanding that all liquor license holders would have to re-apply for the new designation if the system was implemented, and that establishments wishing to remain solely liquor-primary would not be allowed to benefit from the changes to the rules.

Council agreed to explore the issue. They asked planning department staff to prepare a preliminary report on the idea, including an exploration of the status quo and a look into whether legislative changes would be necessary.

Coun. Tony Scarcella was in favour of the change. “I’ll support it,” he said.

Council also wanted the staff report to explore the status quo in other similar resort communities. In particular, they wanted to know how the physical distance between the resort and its host community affected that liquor license status. Some resorts are many kilometres from their host community, while downtown Revelstoke is relatively close to the base of RMR, which is actually within city limits. The preliminary report is expected to return to council by late summer.


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