Politics of the Casper Liquor License [AUDIO]
A change in state law July 1st increases the number of bar and grill licenses available in Casper from 5 to 8 and the city's also grown into another full retail license.
How to distribute and regulate them is under discussion by Casper city council.
Casper Mayor, Paul Bertoglio, says deciding who gets to buy the new full retail liquor license, at a cost of 1500 dollars, will be the interesting question council needs to address.
"Who ever acquires the license, unless we attach some conditions, will immediately have a piece of paper that is worth $250,000 to $300,000 dollars."
Demand for a full license is so high, Bertoglio says, the purchase turns into a great windfall for the individual or group who buys it.
He says the last license issued was resold within a year, or so, bringing substantial profit to the holder. He says he likes the idea of a lottery.
And while the one time fee is set by the state, city council does have the option to create conditions, "such as, you must hold it for five years, unless you declare bankruptcy in which case the city will take it back and reissue it."
Bertoglio says, to-date, the city has issued 35 full retail licenses.
As for a Bar and Grill license, which can not be resold and starts at $10,500, he says, they may consider loosening conditions and possibly creating a step down fee in hopes of encouraging their sale and spurring economic growth.