Ogden’s loss was Park City’s gain on Tuesday, when the state liquor commission granted a hard-to-get club license to the Miner’s Grill & Sports Bar in Park City instead of Ogden’s new Marriott Hotel.
The owner of the Marriott, formerly the Summit Hotel and Conference Center, had to forfeit its club license several weeks ago because it failed to notify the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) in February that it had purchased the hotel at 247 24th St.
In April, Marriott also closed the hotel bar for renovations and failed to notify the DABC, another no-no in the Utah liquor rulebook. After more than three months the renovations still are not complete.
"The fact that they closed operations means they automatically forfeit their license," Nina McDermott, the DABC’s director of compliance and licensing enforcement, told the commission.
McKay Pearson, an attorney representing the hotel, said Marriott officials assumed that because the hotel and its banquet facility were still open for business, notifying the DABC about the club closure was unnecessary.
"In their mind it was open, just under renovation," he said, asking that the license be reinstated and not be put back into the state pool.
Liquor commissioners disagreed, giving the license to Miner’s Grill and Sports Bar at 1300 Snow Creek Dr., Park City.
The Ogden Marriott now must reapply for a club license and it could be a long wait. There are 11 other businesses on the waiting list, and some have been there more than a year.
The hotel still holds a full-service restaurant license, which allows guests to get a drink as long as they are also ordering food.
On Tuesday, the commission also was able to grant a club license to the La Sabre Club in American Fork. The license became available because of an increase in population. While the La Sabre was not at the top of the waiting list, it is an area of the state where the number of clubs is limited compared to the growing population, said liquor Commissioner John T. Nielsen.
The summer seasonal license that Miner’s Grill had been operating under was given to the Salt Flats Grill and Taproom (formerly Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse) at 222 S. Main, in Salt Lake City. It will be good for three more months and Jeremy Ford, the restaurants’s director of operations, hopes to get a permanent club license before the time runs out.
"Having a dining club license is the only way for us to be competitive downtown," he said.
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