800 Miles and 75 Years
Just as a reminder of how very different life can be, have a gander at this news from Salt Lake City:
The state took a step in the right direction in the past legislative session, repealing the inane private club law that either angered or amused visitors, depending on their mood or disposition. Beginning July 1, adults of legal age will no longer have to fill out an application, join the club and pay for the privilege of buying a legal alcoholic beverage in a bar....Good old Utah, dragging itself into the 1930s. Craft Beer Month doesn't look so bad by comparison, does it?
But, even while Salt Lake City contemplates jettisoning archaic regulations that limit the number of bars to two per block, a stumbling block in the pursuit of a vibrant downtown, another major obstacle looms. The state is poised to run out of liquor licenses.
Only 12 liquor licenses for bars and 15 for restaurants remain for the entire state due to unnecessarily restrictive regulations that limit the number of bars in Utah to one for each 7,850 residents, and the number of restaurant liquor licenses to one for each 5,200 Utahns.
While the Legislature, composed primarily of nondrinking Mormons, is known to espouse free market principles, they seemingly don't apply when it comes to the regulation of intoxicating beverages. The state decides when and where and who sells what sort of alcohol, and monopolizes the sale of bottled wine, hard liquor and full-strength malt beverages in state-owned stores.