Although the state liquor board can ignore the decision, the Payson Town Council voted to deny a Series 10 liquor license for a Maverik Country Store proposed for the southeast corner of Forest Drive and Beeline Highway.
During a protracted debate at the regular council meeting Thursday, councilors questioned a Maverik representative in great detail about errors in the license application, the corporation's modus operandi, and a number of liquor license violations at other locations. Maverik Country Stores, Inc. operates 167 stores in seven western states.
Tom Ross, a supervisor for Maverik in Salt Lake City, told the council that the chain has remarkably few violations considering the scope of its operation.
"Ninety-seven percent of our 167 stores sell beer," Ross said. "The latest violation was in the year 2000 in Bullhead City."
The council also debated the merits of another convenience-liquor store in town. Councilor Robert Henley said he believes there are plenty of places in town where people can buy packaged liquor.
"I don't believe we need another convenience store with a beer and wine license and I would prefer not to see it happen," Henley said. "It just boggles my mind that somebody thinks they could make money doing that."
A Series 10 license allows beer and wine sales for off-premise consumption.
Town approves Event Center concept
Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter and Councilor Robert Henley want to emphasize that the council decision on the development of the Payson Event Center at Thursday's meeting was preliminary and does not involve any commitment of monies on the part of the town.
"My thinking is that we approved a memorandum of understanding, giving them 120 days to put together some financing and come back and tell us what that is," Henley said.
As reported in the Friday, Oct. 15 edition of the Roundup, Hospitality Support Group President Bruce Berres sees it the same way.
"It's only the beginning of a long process," Berres said after the meeting. "It's a project we love, and we're excited about it, but it's going to take the cooperation of a lot of different entities to make it a reality."
Key components of the $21 million proposal, originally submitted to the town by Hospitality Support Group on Aug. 17, include:
- A cover or roof for the rodeo arena, a topic of debate since the rodeo grounds were relocated from Rumsey Park in 1996.
- A 150-room hotel with an indoor pool, fitness center, game area, and area dedicated to Payson history.
- A 1,000-seat amphitheater that would be home to concert series and other musical events.
- A 7,000-square-foot conference center that includes a grand ballroom, and is capable of handling meetings of up to 500 people.
- A cowboy-themed steakhouse restaurant and saloon with sawdust on the floor, and "a flavor of history."
"How much of that $21 million is theirs versus something that the town might have to put forth is yet to be determined," Henley said.
Sesame Inn honored
In other council action, Chris Cooper, owner of Sesame Inn, was honored for his contribution to the employment of people with disabilities by the town's Disabilities Awareness Committee.