The public is invited to provide input at an open house on December 14
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is holding a public open house on Thursday, December 14 to gather input from Whistler business owners and residents about the provincial government’s liquor licence policy change earlier this year. In addition to Liquor and Food Primary establishments, the new provincial government policy permits non-traditional businesses to obtain a liquor licence. The open house will be held in the Whistler Conference Centre’s Fitzsimmons Room from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
With hundreds of Whistler businesses eligible to apply for a liquor licence under provincial policy changes, municipal staff have identified the need to establish guidelines for the types of businesses which might be considered for a licence in Whistler, and to develop municipal regulations to manage the licences.
Under the new provincial policy, businesses without a primary focus on liquor service are now eligible for a Liquor Primary Licence and those without a primary focus on food service are eligible for Food Primary Licence.
Liquor Primary Licences have traditionally been issued only to businesses such as pubs, lounges, bars, nightclubs and event driven conference or cultural centres. These businesses are focused on hospitality, entertainment or beverage service and there is minimal requirement to have food available. Liquor cannot be offered complimentary to customers – it must be sold.
Food Primary Licences have traditionally been issued only to businesses such as restaurants and cafés. A food primary licensed business must have a fully operating kitchen, including a dedicated service area with tables and chairs for all patrons. Food must be available anytime liquor is sold.
In British Columbia, liquor licences are issued by the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB), and the LCLB is required to request comment from local government on licensing decisions that may have an impact on the community. Public input is important to understand the community’s position on liquor licences to guide policy decisions.
A number of liquor licence types have been issued in Whistler, including Food Primary, Liquor Primary, Manufacturer, Retail Sales, Catering, and Special Event Permits. RMOW involvement in liquor licensing is defined in Municipal Liquor Licensing Policy, and RMOW input varies depending on the type of application. Whistler currently has more than one hundred food and beverage establishments with a Liquor Primary or Food Primary licence.
A survey with the open house discussion questions is available at whistler.ca/LiquorLicenceOpenHouse for comment until January 2.