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Governor Polis signs alcohol to go extension into law

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Derek Draplin | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed legislation that extends to-go alcoholic beverage sales for another several years.

House Bill 21-1027 allows for the sale of alcoholic beverages for takeout and delivery until July 1, 2025.

The legislation is an extension to a law signed by Polis last summer that was set to sunset on July 1, 2021. The governor initially used an executive order in March 2020 to allow to-go alcohol sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’re always looking to figure out what are those things that we did during the pandemic that worked and can create a new normal that’s even better for small businesses, for consumers,” Polis said at a bill signing ceremony Tuesday. “And one of those things early on using my emergency powers we were able to remove the, in my mind, senseless and outdated rule that for some reason in Colorado restaurants weren’t allowed to do takeout alcohol with their takeout food.” 

“That was a lifeline for many restaurants during the pandemic,” the governor added. 

The Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) said 93% of restaurants have relied on alcohol delivery and pickup sales to supplement their revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Restaurants need all the financial assistance possible as they begin to recover the $3 billion in revenue that was lost during 2020,” CRA CEO Sonia Riggs said in a statement. “Moreover, alcohol to go from restaurants is an extremely popular service with the voting public and has tremendous upsides for Colorado. Selling alcohol to-go beverages gives restaurants the opportunity to serve customers where they are and provides a revenue stream that gives restaurants a fighting chance at survival.”

The law also allows for the creation of “communal outdoor dining areas” for qualified food and beverage establishments as approved by local governments.