1 minute reading time (212 words)

To Drink or Not To Drink

2011 has seen several cities voting on whether to expand liquor sales, either on premises or off premises.  Below are a few of the 2011 developments.

  • In May, voters in the city of Lawrenceburg overwhelmingly approved the sale of liquor, 806 to 597.

  • Also in May, Pigeon Forge voters defeated liquor in restaurants for the second time in 2 years, 590 to 482.  Establishments in the city were already allowed to sell beer and wine, but not liquor.  We see this as unusual since Pigeon Forges’ largest business is tourism, and many tourists expect full liquor service at restaurants.  We hear that the town’s biggest attraction, Dollywood, worked against LBD, perhaps to foster aold-fashioned family-oriented appeal.

  • Around the same time, voters in Sevierville rejected allowing liquor stores in the city, 785 to 614.  Gatlinburg remains the only city in the tourism-dominated county.

  • Early this year, the Sparta BOMA unanimously approved liquor-by-the-drink (“LBD”) sales.  It appears the measure was approved in order to increase city revenue through the 15% LBD tax (50% of which goes to the city) and through a new annual privilege tax.

Undoubtedly, these, and other locations, will continue to vote on the expansion of liquor sales.  Stayed tuned for future developments in and around your part of the state.
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