Grand County grants liquor license to tubing hill | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County grants liquor license to tubing hill

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County CO Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

The new Colorado Adventure Park tubing, sledding, snow scoots and sleigh ride venue near Fraser has obtained a tavern liquor license to serve beer and wine.

Grand County commissioners granted the license in a 2-1 vote on Tuesday.

Commissioner Gary Bumgarner was the dissenting vote. He said the license was premature since the Adventure Park does not yet have a permanent structure.

His opinion echoed the sentiment of Gail Stowkowski, a neighbor to the Adventure Park, who spoke at the liquor license hearing.

“We don’t feel wine is part of the adventure,” she said. “It’s supposed to be a family environment.”

She said she and her husband opposed the license because beer and wine should be served in a permanent structure designed and equipped for such service.

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The Park’s tavern license is restricted to a fenced-in area near the modular concessions building on Adventure Park property. Guests may drink beverages either inside the modular or outside.

The Colorado Department of Health requires food to be available because of the alcohol, which Adventure Park General Manager David Walters said is in the works. Currently, the modular houses only a vending machine with snacks.

For a recreation- and tourist-based business, Walters said he felt the offering of beer and wine fits the outdoor tourist experience, much like alcohol served at a ski mountain.

“It’s more of a complement to our business, and not the full intent of our business,” he said.

The availability of beer and wine may be appealing to some parents who want to simply “relax and enjoy the environment” while young people take part in Adventure activities, he said.

Walters produced a petition signed mostly by residents in favor of the license.

“A lot of people are strongly in favor of us selling beer and wine,” he said.

Walters explained that adults do not ride the snow scoot mini snowmobiles, which are sized for children 6 to 12 years old, and therefore the availability of alcohol does not pose a snow scoot risk.

The Colorado Adventure Park activities are conducted under a county special use permit, but the liquor license itself does not fall under that special use, according to county officials, who decided as such when the permit was originally passed.

Commissioners had decided that such an offering was a “business decision” and should not be listed among other uses allowed under a county special use permit.

Because of this, officials explained, concerned Adventure Park neighbors on a mailing list associated with the special use permit were not notified about the liquor license unless they lived within 200 feet of the proposed beer and wine premises.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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