The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Liquor license held by Three Bears will be contested by City of Valdez

Authorities make the move to clear the way for new businesses in town


City authorities are not backing the renewal of an inactive package liquor license held by the owners of a defunct warehouse grocery chain.

The City of Valdez says it plans to protest the renewal of the license held by Three Bears.

According to Allie Ferko, the deputy city clerk, the corporation plans to address council to protest the move at its next scheduled meeting in April.

"Its part of their rights in the process to do that," Ferko said during the city council meeting held a week ago Tuesday.

The city clerk's office submitted a report to council before the March 21 meeting stating that the office had notified Three Bears and the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board of the protest.

In a letter dated March 13, the clerk's office tells the board that the city does not "support the practice of holding an inactive liquor license long term for the purpose of preserving future financial gain or speculation of a future market."

The letter, signed by Sheri Pierce, the city clerk, states that the Three Bears license has been inactive for many years and that there is no operational or physical address attached to the license.

There is currently only one functioning liquor store in Valdez, Oaken Keg, which is adjacent and owned by Safeway.

Inactive package liquor licenses are prohibiting new businesses from entering the market according to the letter.

The letter says that the allowed number of package liquor licenses in a community is based on population, and the inactive Three Bears license, when combined with the second inactive license held by ABC Liquors, prohibits any new businesses from opening in Valdez.

"The City has been advised that the number of liquor licenses classified as "Non-R.E." in Valdez currently exceeds the number allowed based on our population," the letter states. "If this is the case, both the licenses held unused by Three Bears and Acres Beverage Center, would prevent any prospective investment or development of a new fully functional package store within the City."

The letter emphasizes the word "functional."

Council member Chris Moulton

"I would be interested to hear their retort," he said.

The next regular city council meeting is slated for Tuesday, April 4.


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