Hotel Colorado lets liquor license lapse |

Hotel Colorado lets liquor license lapse

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox/Post IndependentCiting an administrative oversight, the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs has been operating without a liquor license since last October.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The historic Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs is a dry establishment.

The hotel’s administration discovered last week that through an administrative oversight, the hotel did not renew its liquor license last year and has been operating without a valid one since November.

According to Glenwood Springs City Clerk Robin Unsworth, the hotel’s liquor license expired on Oct. 30, 2008. The hotel will need to apply for a new license and cannot renew the old license because the renewal period has elapsed. The new license could take more than 30 days to acquire.

Hotel General Manager John Burns said the hotel applied for a new license last week and that he expects to have the new one, hopefully, within 30 days.

“We immediately notified the local liquor board that it was an administrative glitch,” Burns said. “The city and the local liquor board is working quickly to get it resolved.”

Burns indicated the oversight was discovered the week of March 8, as hotel administration prepared for the year-end audits and realized that they had not paid to renew the license last year. Burns said the hotel administration doesn’t recall having received the notice of renewal, though the city claimed to have sent one out. But, Burns admitted, a “glitch” by hotel staff and not the city was to blame.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure that we take care of it,” Burns said.

The Polo Wine and Martini Lounge has been transformed into a dining area for the time being. Currently, the hotel is not serving liquor but it’s as close to business as usual as it can be, according to Burns.

“We are going on with the dinning room and restaurant and we will be doing some special outside catering events,” he said.

The hotel is accommodating events that are scheduled in the coming weeks by using a special event license that will allow outside caterers to serve alcoholic beverages at events which are closed to the public, according to Burns. The hotel has notified all scheduled event organizers of the situation and Burns said that no scheduled events have canceled due to the error.

According to Charles Bawden, a member of the Glenwood Springs Alcohol Beverage Hearing Board, the board will review that matter at its next scheduled meeting on April 14. A penalty for operating without a license is possible.

However, Bawden said penalties are determined on a case-by-case basis. The state’s Liquor Enforcement Division can also have a say on penalties, if they’re warranted. Bawden said penalties can be assessed if an establishment is late in renewing its liquor license, and that it’s up to the board’s discretion to determine appropriate penalties.

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