Arctic Valley’s Alcohol License

What’s Happening?

Arctic Valley’s recreational site permit must be renewed every two years by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. The staff of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office makes a recommendation to the Board about whether to renew individual alcohol licenses, but the decision is up to the ABC Board.

We’ve had our license since 2010, and it has been renewed every two years since without issue. In fact, it was supposed to be renewed at the ABC Board’s April meeting, and at that time the staff recommendation was to renew our license. Due to time constraints, our license was pushed to the June meeting. A week before that meeting we received an email from the Director of AMCO stating that her recommendation had changed and she was now recommending that the Board not renew our license. We were successful in getting the ABC Board to postpone consideration of our license until the August meeting due to the late notice of the change in recommendation.

The Director of AMCO believes that recreational site permits can only be issued to locations that host competitive events. This requirement is not anywhere in statute or regulation, but has been wholly imagined by the Director.

Why Now?

AMCO’s concern comes from Legislative Sunset Audits in 2014 and 2017, which called out the ABC Board for straying too far from statute when granting recreational site permits. Arctic Valley’s license is not called out in either of these audits, despite the 2014 audit reviewing every recreational site permit, and the 2017 audit specifically reviewing licenses that were likely to be non-compliant with statute. The legislative audit was focused on site permits that were not seasonal as required by statute (such as bowling alleys and pool halls) or very far outside a reasonable definition of recreational event (movie theaters and gyms).

What are we Doing?

Immediately after being notified of the Director’s change of recommendation, we’ve been reaching out to our supporters, and contacting legislators and members of the Administration to gain support for our case. We have received support from several legislators, and plan to have several legislative letters to submit to the ABC Board supporting our position. We’ve received support from members of the administration, and know that they are supportive of our position, as are nearly all the legislators we’ve spoken with.

What can I do?

Sign our petition! We will submit it with our letters of support to the ABC Board for consideration at their August meeting. You can also contact your legislator and ask them to write a letter of support for our license. If you’re in Denali on August 14th (and not doing something fun), show your support by stopping into the ABC Board meeting.

Have more questions?

Please send an email to our General Manager, John Robinson-Wilson for further information.