Utah bar owners want to loosen laws | AspenTimes.com

Utah bar owners want to loosen laws

Brock Vergakis
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

SALT LAKE CITY ” Bar owners want to kill a law that makes Utah the only state where customers must fill out an application and pay a fee before they can order a drink.

The Utah Hospitality Association filed a petition Thursday seeking to collect signatures to put a statewide initiative on the ballot in 2010. The state’s restrictive liquor laws are increasingly seen as a barrier to tourism development and a blemish on Utah’s image.

Utah is the only state that prohibits bars that serve liquor from admitting anyone but members and their guests. An airport is the only place where someone can drink a cocktail without having to order a meal or be a member of a private club.

Lisa Marcy McGarry, a lawyer and Hospitality Association board member, says the Utah law is silly and archaic.

Businesses that serve beer but not liquor are not covered by the membership requirement.