Thursday, March 23Welcome

Durango business owners sober about voting against ballot measure organizers – The Durango Herald

3 alcohol-related measures that anger local merchants

Wagon Wheel Liquors signs urge voters to VOTE NO on Propositions 125 and 126. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The only thing harder to find in Durango than the one-eyed jackalope is the local business owners who are trying to expand their wine sales to grocery and convenience stores.

And finding just one person to agree with any of the three alcohol-related propositions that voters will decide at the Nov. 8 ballot box is still two-eyed jackalope territory.

Nothing excited the coffee-loving attendees at Friday morning’s Durango Business Improvement District meeting more than one participant’s cries to vote against all three proposals 124, 125 and 126. .

“Tell everyone,” the person urged. “They all come from Denver.” “The grocery store doesn’t have shelf space,” exclaimed another. “It hurts local sellers,” someone offered. “Local sellers donate to many local causes,” came the final call.

For those who have not researched the ballot measure mentioned, here are the details, not to mention highlighting the section on giving.

A YES vote on Proposition 124 allows retail liquor stores to apply for an unlimited number of locations after 2037 and, if approved, increase the number of locations over time. Become. Statewide through 2026, then a total of 4 locations.

If you vote YES on Proposition 125, licensed grocery and convenience stores that currently sell beer can also sell wine. If you vote against it, beer can continue to be sold, but not wine.

A YES vote on Proposition 126 allows third-party companies to permanently deliver alcohol from grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, bars and restaurants. Voting against would keep the current law in place, requiring businesses to use their own employees to deliver alcohol. Bars and restaurants may offer alcohol takeout and delivery until July 2025.

It wasn’t hard to see where the sample of Durango merchants more directly involved in selling spirits and other adult beverages was.

Larson Eoff, the owner, manager, cashier and bugger of Spirits of the West and a self-professed “mop bucket filler upper” said, in numerical order of suggestions: “No,” “No, no at all,” and “No.”

“I think 124 is just another way to weed out the little guys,” Eof said. not.”

His big “no” vote for 125 is easy, as he says it will shut him down.

“I lost a third of my business when they[grocers]started selling beer,” he said. “I’m not going to stay here for minimum wage.” Proposition 126 didn’t vote either. “Also cutting into the liquor store business. Not all of my livelihood is tied to this, but there are many.”

Wagon Wheel Liquor General Manager Mark Raymond provided a shot of the Wiggle Room.

He was indifferent to Proposition 124 and issued a warning that additional locations would come from small, family-owned businesses. However, Proposition 125 was conclusively rejected.

“We want the money from these businesses to stay in our community,” he said. I hope to get it.”

When asked about local grocery stores and convenience stores, he said:

“We don’t have a small local convenience store in our town,” he said. “A gas station owned by a big company, or a grocery store owned by a big company.” Raymond also voted AGAINST Prop. 126.

“The accountability of those who work at Door Dash and Uber Eats will be kids ordering booze online, drivers not caring, just delivering to kids.”

Candice Archuleta, manager of Durango Liquor & Wine Co., was a rare find. But her slight acquiescence relied on the logic that would have silenced the rolling chair in the morning’s business meeting.

She was split on Proposition 124. If I lived in a big city, I’d probably say no, just because big liquor stores can really hurt little moms and pops. “No. We want to keep the wine sales going.” As for Proposition 126…

“Yes,” she said. “Because I want you to bring me a margarita.”

Grocery stores and convenience stores began selling full-blown beer in January 2019, no doubt hurting the local liquor store’s bottom line, but they’re not known to have gone out of business. It’s unclear if expanding wine sales will be the straw that breaks it, but it’s not like many local merchants want the chance.

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