Master Liquor License for Hotels Would Free Up Licenses in Utah

A Utah lawmaker wants to free up dozens of liquor licenses using the state’s hotels. Republican Senator John Valentine is drafting a bill that would create a master license for hotels, which would free up licenses currently required to run the bars, restaurants and catering services inside hotels.

The Coffee Shop at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City has one of 3 of the hotel's separate liquor licenses.
The Coffee Shop at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City has one of 3 of the hotel's separate liquor licenses.
Credit The Little America Hotel

The Little America in Downtown Salt Lake City operates with three liquor licenses: "The banquets, the restaurants, which covers the three restaurants over here, and the coffee lounge which is only beer and wine," explains Vladimir Nikolov. He’s a bartender at the hotel and knows there are many other businesses in Utah waiting for a liquor license of their own. Under a proposed bill by Orem Senator John Valentine, that wait might not be as long.

"A hotel would only have to get one alcohol license. They would then have sub-licenses for each of the functions that they wanted to do." Valentine says if passed, his bill would make it easier for the state to conduct compliance checks and it would free up dozens of licenses: "As I am proposing it, they would be able to get a master license, the licenses that they presently have would go back into the respective pools from which they came."

Valentine says he has met with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and a group of hotel operators who are excited about the proposal. He is also planning on running a bill in the upcoming session that would create a master license for restaurants.