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Olympic Liquor Permits Given Out

June 30, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The board that controls beer and liquor sales in Utah has approved a series of permits that will allow Swiss and Dutch sports and marketing groups to sell alcohol during the 2002 Winter Games.

Groups from the Netherlands plan to hold an event at the West Ridge Golf Course Clubhouse in West Valley City, and the Swiss will be inside an existing club on West Market Street in downtown Salt Lake City.

In order to sell alcohol at these functions, the groups needed to secure ``single event″ permits from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

The permits are good for only three days, and no single group can be issued more that two permits per year. To sell alcohol throughout the games, the groups had to cobble together several back-to-back permits between Feb. 8 and 29.

The beverage commission approved all seven permits without debate Friday morning. State law requires the groups pay a $100 fee and put up a $1,000 security bond for each permit.

Al Potvien, an official with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said the permit applications were not troublesome and government officials in West Valley and Salt Lake cities had given their blessings to the Olympic events.

The two functions will likely be semiprivate affairs for guests of the Dutch and Swiss officials, Potvien said.

Beverage department officials can inspect Olympic events whenever they want; the groups risk having their permits revoked and losing the $1,000 bond if they violate liquor laws.

Utah’s liquor restrictions are in large part the product of the state’s Mormon heritage. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don’t drink alcohol.

Potvien said beverage department officials expect more foreign groups will apply for the special-event liquor permits as the games draw closer.

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