Durango business owners sober vote against host of ballot measures – Durango Herald

Three alcohol-related measures spark outrage from local businessmen

A sign at Wagon Wheel Liquors encourages voters to vote against Propositions 125 and 126. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

In Durango, the only thing harder to find than Cyclops is a local business owner — not to mention a purveyor of wine and spirits — who is expanding wine sales into grocery and convenience stores.

And only one is found who supports any of the three alcohol-related proposals, which voters will decide at the ballot box on Nov. 10. 8 – Still two-eyed Jackalope territory.

At the Durango Business Improvement District meeting on Friday morning, nothing excites coffee drinkers more than the power of one of them to vote against all three proposals — 124, 125, and 126.

“Tell everyone,” the man urged. “It’s all from Denver.” “Grocery stores don’t have shelf space,” another exclaimed. “It hurts local sellers,” one suggested. “Local sellers donate to many local causes,” the last phone rang — which seemed to settle the scuffle of rolling high-backed chairs.

For those who haven’t looked into the voting measures mentioned, the details are this:

A yes vote on Proposition 124 would allow retail liquor stores to apply and, if approved, would increase the number of stores over time, with an unlimited number of stores after 2037. A negative vote would keep the three stores currently restricted. state until 2026, with a total of four locations thereafter.

A yes vote on Proposition 125 would allow licensed grocery and convenience stores that currently sell beer to also sell wine. The down vote lets them keep selling beer instead of wine.

Voting yes to Proposition 126 would allow third-party companies to permanently serve alcohol from grocery and convenience stores, liquor stores, bars and restaurants. The veto vote upheld the current law, which requires businesses to use their own employees to deliver alcohol. Bars and restaurants may offer takeaway and delivery drinks until July 2025.

It’s not hard to pinpoint the location of a sample of Durango traders more directly involved in the sale of spirits and other adult beverages. Although there is a wild hair.

Spirits of the West owner, manager, cashier, bagger and self-proclaimed “mop bucket top” Larson Eoff clarified his votes based on the proposed numerical order – “no” – “no, hell no” – and “Do not.”

“I think 124 is just another thing to get rid of this little guy,” Eoff said. “How many people can afford to have more than one liquor store? It doesn’t help small liquor stores.”

His big “no” to 125 was a no-brainer because he said it would disappoint him.

“When they (grocers) started selling beer, I lost a third of my business,” he said. “I’m not going to stay here for the minimum wage.” Proposition 126 also disapproved. “Again, it cuts into the liquor store business. I don’t tie my entire livelihood to this, but I have a bunch.”

Mark Raymond, general manager of Wagon Wheel Liquors, provided a bottle of wiggle cream.

He was indifferent to Proposition 124, but warned that any additional locations would come from small, family-run operators. Proposition 125, however, is beyond question.

“I want the money from these businesses to stay in our community,” he said. “I’d rather colorados make profits from these businesses than have big corporations take their money out of Colorado.”

When asked about locally owned grocers and convenience stores, he replied: “What locally owned stores?

“We don’t have a small local convenience store in our town,” he said. “It’s either a gas station owned by a big company, or a grocery store owned by a big company.” Raymond also voted against Proposition 126.

“People who work for Door Dash and Uber Eats, responsibility, it’s going to happen where kids are going to order alcohol online and the drivers won’t care and just deliver meals to kids.”

Durango Liquor and Wine Company Manager Candice Archuleta is a rare find. But her slight acquiescence rests on logic that quiets the rolling chairs of morning business meetings.

She was divided on proposal 124. “Seeing my life in a small town, I would say yes. If I lived in a big city, I would probably say no because big box liquor stores really hurt little moms and dads. Proposition 125 is Shuffle. “No. I want to keep my wine sales going. ” If the response to Proposition 126…

“Yes,” she said. “Because I’d love to give me my margarita.”

There’s no question that the change to selling full-strength beer in grocery and convenience stores starting in January 2019 will hurt the bottom line of local liquor stores, but none are known to have gone out of business. Whether expanding wine sales will be the last straw to break this is unknown – but it’s not an opportunity many local players want.


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