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Vail Expands Designated Public Areas for Consumption of Alcohol in Response to Public Health Orders for Social Distancing

  • 18 June 2020
Vail Expands Designated Public Areas for Consumption of Alcohol in Response to Public Health Orders for Social Distancing

With Vail Town Council’s consent at its June 16 meeting and allowances enacted by the state, the Town Manager’s Office has authorized an expansion of outdoor public areas designated for the consumption of alcohol. The authorized areas in Vail Village and Lionshead are shown in green on the map below and are intended to assist the bar and restaurant community in accommodating social distancing required by public health orders. The expansion is effective immediately.

Recent action by the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division and the Governor’s Office (referenced by Bulletin 20-09 Executive Order No. 20-093) provides “for even more flexibility and judicious use of place spaces amid the pandemic.” Public rights-of-way, such as municipal sidewalks and streets, are now eligible for areas where localities may authorize public consumption. In light of this temporary change, which expires in 120 days, the town determined it would be appropriate to expand its designated areas in an effort to continue to help the restaurant community accommodate more patrons than would be allowed inside their establishments and would allow restaurants to do substantially more carry-out business in the villages.

Town staff continue to fine-tune rules that will apply to these designated areas, addressing timeframes for use, requirements for the sale of the beverages and ensuring compliance with existing state liquor enforcement division guidelines. The areas will continue to be monitored and possibly modified over time as the town evaluates operational and enforcement issues and receives feedback from patrons and businesses owners. There are already discussions about allowing for more designated areas along East Meadow Drive with a decision likely to be made before the July 4th holiday.

Signage and markers will be placed in these areas to help provide the boundaries of where alcohol may be consumed. Social distancing will be required and all patrons in these areas are asked to take personal responsibility with compliance related to Eagle County’s public health orders and their five Commitments of Containment. The town will require that state and town liquor laws be followed and request a high level of etiquette and personal responsibility from the public and restaurants related to cleaning up trash after using the designated public consumption areas.

The Vail Police Department continues to remind guests and residents that public consumption of alcohol in Vail remains prohibited unless the area is designated with signage. It is still prohibited to take an open drink into the public area from a liquor sales business. Patrons will need to request a takeout cup with the appropriate labels identifying the product came from a Vail licensed establishment and proceed only to the public spaces designated. Alcohol may only be consumed in those areas between the hours of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Police Department will use a combination of education and enforcement as it relates to consumption regulations and is asking members of the community to set a good example for guests during the pandemic. Violations could result in fines up to $2,650 or 180 days in the county Jail.

An Emergency Odinance was passed by Town Council on May 19 allowing for consumption of alcoholic beverages in designated public places, particularly Vail Village and Lionshead during this public health crisis. Modifications to these areas and emergency orders will continue to be made as deemed necessary.

For questions, please call the Vail Police Department at 970-479-2210.


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