Council Okays Open Containers Within Common Consumption Area
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – The Town of Mountain Village became one of the first municipalities in Colorado to take advantage of new state legislation allowing open containers in public spaces, after Town Council approved an ordinance earlier this summer that would allow the formation of an Entertainment District with Common Consumption Area – essentially allowing patrons to purchase alcoholic beverages within a liquor-licensed establishment then bring them outdoors, into the designated Entertainment District.
Now, it’s up to the merchants to make a Mountain Village Entertainment District happen.
The creation of an Entertainment District allows people to purchase alcoholic beverages from local establishments, then take them off those premises and into the Entertainment District – but only during certain, pre-designated times. As the law is written, all management of the Entertainment District falls on the shoulders of a Promotional Association, made up of liquor-licensed merchants in the core area. That entity is responsible for coming up with the calendar of when Common Consumption rules would be in effect, thus opening the door for Mountain Village to create new events, or grow existing ones, during which participants can bring their alcoholic beverages outdoors.
Adam Singer, owner of Poacher’s Pub in Mountain Village, was an early proponent of the ordinance, which passed at Town Council’s May 17 meeting. He believes the Entertainment District with Common Consumption Area could help drive business within the Mountain Village core, which has historically struggled to remain economically viable, especially during the quiet summer months.
“The bottom line is that this would be a valuable tool for Mountain Village to create its own identity, by creating our own events that would fit this community,” he said this week. He envisioned smaller events, like the erstwhile Oktoberfest, would blossom, while new, as-yet-undiscovered events could develop because of this new ordinance – all of which could become significant drivers of traffic, and business, in Mountain Village.
Yet to see an Entertainment District come to fruition will require the cooperation of a significant number of merchants in the Mountain Village core. Businesses within the core have the option to decline membership in the promotional association. But, ultimately, the association must be made up of liquor-licensed businesses with a minimum aggregate 20,000 square feet of space, within the Entertainment District. The new entity would also be responsible for providing security during Common Consumption events; designating and maintaining the visual boundaries of the Entertainment District, either with fencing or signs; and would need to carry liability insurance. Merchants participating in the Promotional Association would be required to provide plastic cups, with their business name and logo, for patrons taking their drinks outside.
So far, little movement has been seen from Mountain Village merchants in forming the required Promotional Association. Singer believes there is interest within the businesses community to do so, however the concept is so new that it has been difficult to know where to begin.
“It’s basically on the merchants to get together and do this,” he said.
Meehan Fee, general manager at the Telluride Conference Center, echoes the sentiment that a Common Consumption area could be a boon to business in the Mountain Village. “The common consumption concept will help the businesses of Mountain Village work together to further the vitality and energy throughout the commercial core,” she said this week. “This policy will allow for a more collaborative approach to the creation of new events than we have been able to employ in the past. While the processes still need to be developed and examined in order to create a strong framework for this enterprise, I believe that the long-term benefit to the merchant and lodging communities of Mountain Village will be substantial.”
The Mountain Village Merchants Association will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, July 17, at which the formation of a Promotional Association for Mountain Village’s Entertainment District will be discussed.