The new owners of Deer Valley resort are already getting a lesson on Utah’s unique liquor laws.
Since officially taking over the Park City resort Oct. 10, the owners have missed a 30-day license transfer deadline required by the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC).
The misstep probably won’t result in a fine or reprimand, and alcohol is expected to keep flowing at the two resort restaurants that are open during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. But the missed deadline will require a special meeting of the state liquor commission, set for Wednesday.
Under Utah state law, liquor licenses do not automatically transfer when a business is sold, said DABC spokesman Terry Wood.
Potential owners must submit to the DABC numerous documents, including a criminal-background check, a financial review to ensure there are no delinquent taxes and approval from the local city government. The company then has 30 days from the close of sale to submit the documents.
While the new Deer Valley owners have been working with the DABC on the license transfers, there were unexpected delays in paperwork and the company missed the deadline, Wood said.
Deer Valley Resort’s new owner doesn’t have an official name yet, but the company is run by affiliates of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company, the same group that owns Mammoth and Squaw Valley ski resorts in California and Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, two states where liquor laws are not as complicated.
KSL Capital has no affiliation with KSL News, which is run by the Mormon church.
Wood said the Deer Valley documents finally came together this week, more than 10 days late. The DABC liquor board will meet Wednesday at 3 p.m. to grant final approval to the license transfers and get the resort in line with state law before opening day on the ski slopes Dec. 2.
Deer Valley, according to the agenda, has 11 liquor licenses that need transfer approval: 6 full-service restaurants; two package agencies; one bar; one banquet and catering service; and a recreational beer license.
In the past, failure to comply with the state’s Transfer of License Act has resulted in fines for companies. For first-time offenders, fines can range from $1,000 to $25,000 or a license suspension of up to 15 days, or both.
Last year, the DABC fined Gordon Biersch Brewery and Cat Cora’s Kitchen, both at Salt Lake City International Airport, $10,000 each for failing to report ownership changes. The owner of the now-closed Lamb’s Grill was fined $2,500.
Since the Deer Valley sale was completed so quickly and the resort has been working in good faith to meet the requirements, it is unlikely to be fined by the DABC, said resort spokeswoman Emily Summers.