Evergreen park district considers liquor license for Lake House

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By Sandy Barnes

The Evergreen Park and Recreation District is considering acquiring a liquor license for events at the Evergreen Lake House to gain control of alcohol sales and generate additional revenue.

“This is something we have been talking about,” EPRD board member Janet Doyle said during discussion of the proposal at the June 24 board meeting. “Right now, we don’t have control over those functions, and we have liability."

“I think it is well worth initiating that dialogue and investigating how you might want to do this,” Doyle said to EPRD Executive Director Scott Robson.

For the Lake House to receive a liquor license, Robson said, approval would be needed from Denver Parks and Recreation, which owns the facility.

“I think Denver would see this as a positive improvement,” he remarked.

The Lake House averages about 100 weddings a year, which usually are attended by as many as 150 people, said Robson. With revenue generated at $5 per drink, the park district could realize $150,000 annually, and perhaps more, in gross income from alcohol sales, he said.

“I think it’s worth checking out,” said board member Peg Linn.

Board member Andrew Adamowski also said that he thought the liquor license is worth pursuing.

In addition to acquiring a liquor license, the Evergreen park district would also manage vendors that cater at weddings and other events at the Lake House, Robson said.

“It would make sense to keep this as in-house as possible,” he said.

“There’s a preference to use Evergreen vendors,” he said. “We would want to limit the number of vendors to close to five.”

In choosing vendors for Lake House events, the park district would go out to bid and develop a list of preferred caterers, he explained.

The Evergreen park district would serve as a “middle man,” with vendors providing certified bartenders for events, Robson said. The park district also would establish a minimum percentage of revenue it would receive from vendors and liquor sales, he said.

Robson also suggested that beer and wine could be sold at the Lake House during the winter skating season.

“It’s a new area of revenue,” he said. “The intent would not be to turn the Lake House into a bar,” he remarked.

“The part about winter needs more facts,” said Doyle. “We need to be fairly careful.”

“The goal is for the board to make a decision as we move into 2015,” said Robson.