Kremmling Mercantile gets liquor license
July 9, 2008
Kremmling Mercantile is giving residents and tourists another option to purchase liquor.
The Kremmling Board of Trustees approved the liquor license request Monday for the business at 101 Martin Way.
Kremmling Mercantile includes a pharmacy, grocery, gas station and car wash. Mercantile owner Dave Hammer believes this will increase business in the town.
“Variety increases volume,” he said during a public hearing. “You increase variety, and you increase places to stop.”
Hammer said tourists have requested a larger selection of wine and microbrews.
In addition, when competing businesses left Kremmling, his business did not benefit, he said.
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“Our volume is exactly the same,” he said. “It hasn’t changed even 5 percent in the closing of the other two (gas stations.)
“Competition is competition. I think the pie can be increased 20 percent or so, and I think it helps the community.”
Bill Janson, owner of O’Aces Liquor for 16 years, requested the board deny the liquor license request.
“The pot is only so big,” he said. “We’re not going to generate new revenue having three or four liquor stores. We’re going to split what is there.”
He also made note of the two gas stations that closed.
“Some of it’s just personal,” Janson said. “I would prefer not to have three ” I’d prefer to have two ” in my own financial defense.”
He told board members he didn’t expect them to make a decision based on his personal expense, but asked if giving Mercantile a liquor license would increase revenue to Kremmling, or spread it out.
Kremmling West End Liquor owner Keith Jensen also opposed the liquor license.
“Who’s going to benefit?” he asked. “It’s not going to generate any more revenue for the city of Kremmling. … This competition is not going to create better prices. It’s going to increase the prices.”
Board members agreed it was not their responsibly to regulate competition among the liquor stores.
“I don’t believe it’s this board’s place to deny him,” said Trustee Isaac Schonlau. “I hope you all do well.”
Trustee Mike Music concurred: “We are not in the business of regulating competition,” he added.
“I don’t feel it’s ever my place to tell a businessman whether he can or can’t make money doing business that is legal and in the rights of his scope,” said Trustee Grant Burger III. “That’s totally up to him.”
After the board unanimously made its decision to grant Kremmling Mercantile’s liquor license request, all three liquor store owners shook hands.