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please explain the liquor situation in utah!

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posts: 253
reviews: 13
please explain the liquor situation in utah!

We have a group that tries a new ski area

every year. Park City is next on the list

but there is alot of confusion as to the

liquor situation in Utah. Is it difficult

to purchase liquor for our condo? As I

recall, Park City had alot of bars, correct?

There must be apres-ski places, aren't there?

Thanks for shedding some light on this.

Salt Lake City
posts: 30
1. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

No, it is not difficult. There are several liquor stores in Park City and any number of them in SLC on the way from the airport to Park City.

Park City has about the same number of bars that any other ski town has. There are plenty of apres ski places.

posts: 384
reviews: 13
2. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

The state controls liquor sales, you can only buy hard stuff, wine and beer over 3.2 % alcohol at a state run store. These stores sell only alcohol and have shorter hours and are closed on Sunday. Check out

www.alcbev.state.ut.us for more. I don't know about bars in Park City, the few that are in Southern Utah require you to be a member, usually by paying a nominal fee or buying someone a drink!

Gerogery West...
Destination Expert
for Moab
posts: 3,102
reviews: 59
3. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

I'm only splitting hairs but we managed to get 4% beer (Sqauatters) at the supermarket in Moab. Still drinking for flavor not effect.

Salt Lake City, UT
posts: 900
reviews: 8
4. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

Purchasing liquor is far less difficult than the reputation may have you believe. If you're looking for packaged liquor (or anything stronger than 3.2% beer, including full strength beer, wine, etc.), you must go to a state run liquor store. If you want to go out to a bar, the Utah phenomenon is called a 'private club', which requires a membership fee of some sort. In many restaurants you can purchase a full array of beverages, though only if you purchase food as well.

The beer in the grocery store is 3.2% by weight, or 4% by volume.

And if you're a veteran of western ski trips, you probably already know this, but but be a little cautious with drinking heavily, at least the first night or two. The high elevation (P.C. = 7000') can really be lethal for some if you drink a lot.

posts: 253
reviews: 13
5. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

Thanks everyone. That helps alot. I do

believe the major problem is that perception

of it being hard to find a cocktail.

Park City, UT
posts: 355
reviews: 26
6. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

Drinking in Utah is no more difficult than in most states. The above responses covered the basics, but here's some detail. (see www.alcbev.state.ut.us or www.visitsaltlake.com)

You can get beer at grocery stores. It's limited to 3.2% alcohol, but the state for some reason defined that as 3.2% by weight, which is about 4.0% by volume.

Wine and other liquor is sold at State Liquor Stores. There are 3 in Park City. One is at the I-80 exit. One on Main Street. The biggest is in Prospector Square but you'll probably have to ask for directions.

Most restaurants have licenses for alcohol drinks, with some minor restrictions. You have to have food with your drinks, and you can't have doubles, although you can get two drinks at a time if they are different.

Instead of bars, Utah has Private Clubs. Visitors get a two-week membership for about $4.00 which works out like a cover charge.

Salt Lake City
posts: 30
7. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

And, to add to what al_parkcity said, the $4.00 usually covers the whole group, so it's actually a very low cover charge.

Our liquor laws really aren't that much stranger than some other states--We just have the bad rep--we're hardly the only state where access is limited to state run or approved stores, or that the beer is 3.2. Try buying full-strength beer in Colorado in a supermarket or on a Sunday! (not to pick on Colorado).

posts: 253
reviews: 13
8. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

Once again, thanks for the great info.

It's definitely a perception problem.

Park City here we come.

salt lake city
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City
posts: 1,269
reviews: 70
9. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

To add to the conversation...remember our state law requires only 1 ounce of liquor poured in any drink so you may end up spending more or just feeling like the drinks are weak here...which they are. There are bars all over Park City but stopping at the liquor store is a good idea to stock the condo. There are several state stores conveniently located in Park City but not always so easy to see. It's like they are in hiding so get the address, their possible quirky hours of operation, and the directions before your scavenger hunt begins. Our liquourlaws here can be annoying but not enough to completely ruin a good time.

posts: 1
reviews: 1
10. Re: please explain the liquor situation in utah!

I am from California and recently invested in several properties in Utah, and what I have found is that liquor laws evolve. I know you cannot have a "double" vodka martini at a restaurant. You cannot have one glass of wine and two shots of tequilla on the table if there are two of you. These are just examples. Most people do not need to have more than one glass of wine on the table, etc. However, I heard a person could have one beer on the table and one glass of wine, and that is okay, but it gets sticky when it is hard liquor. In a restaurant/bar, they are not allowed to free pour the liquor. The restaurants must pour wine and liquor according to a strict measurement.

The waiter must pick up the glass before another drink will be put on the table. You can order liquor in a restaurant as long as you have the intent to order food, however, if you decide after you order the drink that you do not want the food, I believe this is now okay and you are still able to have that drink. I'm still trying to figure all the liquor laws out. My friend and I stopped a policeman in Salt Lake City and asked many questions :)

If you have the intent that you just want to have a cocktail with no food, then you can go to one of the "private" clubs of which anyone can enter as long as you pay a nominal fee. I heard this money goes to the schools - but not sure.