For the 79 years Louise Iacovetto has lived in Phippsburg, the tiny town with a big railroading history has never had a liquor store.
At one point, the local grocery store sold 3.2 beer. Even that met with resistance, and when the grocery store closed, the alcohol also left town.
Now, with a proposal from the new owners of The Black Dog Inn, formerly known as Teters Towers, liquor could make its debut.
Michael Smith and Marlene Blom of Hayden are asking the county for a retail liquor license to sell alcohol in a 400-square-foot space adjacent to a small convenience store. The liquor and convenience stores would be part of the 17-room inn.
County commissioners will consider the proposal May 18. In the meantime, some residents are collecting support for keeping the liquor out of town.
Iacovetto is neutral about the proposed liquor store. As a business owner herself, she understands the need for putting economic life back into Phippsburg, but if she had to pick, she probably would not choose liquor, she said.
Smith and Blom said they want to contribute to the community and have a positive impact through their business. Selling liquor is a small part of a bigger picture.
"It's just going to be a tiny little liquor store in the back of the building," Smith said. "It's more of a convenience thing for the guests who stay at the hotel."
The store would have a back entrance and be separate from the convenience store, he said.
But residents such as Jack and Pam Huston are fearful of the negative impacts the liquor store could have. The Hustons live right behind the inn and are worried about the types of people and activities a liquor store could attract.
"You define a character of a town by the business," Jack Huston said.
Although the owners said the store would start small, Huston said he worried that it could end up getting big. Combining liquor with an inn could mean parties, he said. And the school bus stop in front of the inn does not make a "good combination," Huston said.
Huston started a petition for people opposing the liquor store and has collected about 20 signatures. Two other residents are going door to door to collect signatures.
"I just wanted to bring it to everybody's awareness," Huston said.
Some of the disapproval may come from misunderstandings, Smith said. For instance, some residents may still think the proposal is for a bar, and not for selling contained liquor.
Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said when making a decision about the license, commissioners will consider what kind of services are available in the community and whether there is a need for a liquor license.
Commissioners will consider the license at 10:05 a.m. May 18 in the Commissioner's Hearing Room of the Routt County Courthouse Annex.
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