Greg Stetman and the crew at Central Park Liquor: Know full debate |

Greg Stetman and the crew at Central Park Liquor: Know full debate

We, at Central Park Liquor, have spent many years expanding our product selection, improving our customer service and reducing product prices in order that we can provide the finest service possible to our local community.

More importantly, Central Park Liquor has literally returned hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit to our local charities, community causes and special events over the years.

On Oct. 21, a group called “Your Choice Colorado” announced their intent to change liquor license legislation. Soon you will be asked to make a choice that will greatly threaten our very existence. Kroger (City Market), Safeway, Walmart and other chain grocery and convenience stores will be spending enormous amounts of money to convince you, the public, that it is in your best interest for them to be allowed an additional 1,500 locations in the state of Colorado to sell alcoholic beverages.

Should this new legislation come to fruition, the owners of more than 1,600 liquor stores and more than 400 brewers, vintners and distillers, which depend on the individually-owned liquor stores for distribution, will be at risk as the large retailers aggressively grow their spirits, beer and wine-related sales at the expense of local businesses.

Today, the profits of liquor stores are re-circulated back into our local communities. Chain store profits are transferred out to corporate headquarters in other states like Ohio (where Kroger is located) and Arkansas (where Walmart is located), denying the re-circulation of those profits into our state and local economies.

Craft brewers in Colorado represent a huge growth industry in our state. Today there are literally over 300 craft brewers, most of which rely completely on liquor stores for their distribution. Chain stores have no interest, nor the inclination, to shelve the vast majority of this important sector’s products, due to shelf space and product turnover requirements. If the liquor stores begin failing in this state, the craft brewers won’t be far behind.

You should all be aware that liquor stores, craft brewers and vintners employ more than 18,000 people in Colorado, all at risk with this new proposed legislation. On the other hand, chain store employment, should the new legislation prevail, will have almost no impact. Basically, the chain stores will add very significant amounts of sales of alcoholic beverages; however, their employment change will be minimal since total shelf space in their stores will remain the same.

Over the years, we have grown Central Park Liquor into stocking over 2,500 wine labels, over 400 beers and close to 1,900 liquor stock keeping units. As a comparison, chain stores typically carry between 200 to 400 wine selections, which will represent close to 50 percent of all wine sales in the state.

As a result of the loss of the sales to the supermarkets and other chain stores, all liquor stores will have to dramatically reduce their selection of beer, wine and liquor, due to the greatly reduced sales volume.

So the choice is the public’s to make. Is the singular concept of increased convenience worth the loss of thousands of jobs, significant reduction in product selection, profits of alcoholic beverage sales being shipped out of state, reversing the growth trend of our brewing industry, and all the ramifications and safety concerns of initially doubling the amount of alcoholic beverage retail stores?

We, at Central Park Liquor, thought you should know both sides of the argument.

Greg Stetman and the crew at Central Park Liquor

Steamboat Springs

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