Turf Valley approved for extended hours for alcohol sales

Venue gets country club license allowing sales earlier in day

January 12, 2012|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

The Turf Valley golf club and resort in Ellicott City won approval this week for extended hours for alcohol sales.

The resort will have a country club license once the legal papers are signed, said Howard County liquor board administrator Denise King, which allows establishments to begin serving at 6 a.m. Its existing golf club liquor license has more limited hours for serving alcohol.

The change comes as the Howard County legislative delegation is considering proposing a bill in the General Assembly to extend sale hours for alcohol under a golf course liquor license to hours nearly identical to those under the country club license. Turf Valley officials could not be reached for comment.

Thhe new license will make the legislative effort's success or failure irrelevant for Turf Valley — as well as for Cattail Creek Country Club because it already has a country club liquor license, said County Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty, who heads the Board of License Commissioners.

But she and advocates for the proposal's extended morning hours say it would make golf courses in Howard County more competitive with those in neighboring counties. Most of them allow alcohol sales to begin between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., but 11 a.m. is the starting time for Howard County's golf course alcohol license. That would change to 6:30 a.m. under the proposed measure.

Sigaty, a Columbia Democrat, said the issue of extending alcohol sales hours for golf clubs came up last year when the board sent reminders about liquor sales hours to golf clubs at the start of the season. That led golf clubs to raise the issue of early alcohol sales at tournaments, wedding breakfasts and other events. A survey of liquor sales hours for golf clubs in neighboring counties revealed the earlier hours in other jurisdictions, she said.

At the same time, she said, board members realized that Turf Valley would qualify as a country club. The resort includes banquet facilities, a hotel, restaurant and other amenities.


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