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The Last Dry Town in Colorado

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Who knew Colorado still has a “dry” town where you can’t purchase a drink in a bar? It’s called Orchard City, located 170 miles west of Denver. Population: 3,100. But, times change, and Orchard City just lost its status as the state’s only dry city:

Voters approved, almost 2 to 1, allowing the city to issue liquor licenses for restaurants and liquor stores, but not for bars or taverns, Suppes said.

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The town has several trustees and a Town Manager but no police force. What’s behind the voters’ change of heart?

[Trustee Don] Suppes introduced the resolution that led to the ballot question to allow liquor sales and said he did it for several reasons, not just because the town was out of step with the rest of the state. “We have a huge wine industry in Orchard City that’s become a very feasible and viable agricultural business,” he said. “We have the second largest population in Delta County of any township and could support a restaurant. I think they should be able to serve wine with the meal.”

In Orchard City, most people feel fewer regulations on businesses are better, Suppes said. “There’s a certain Libertarian mindset in Orchard City which is coming under fire by the fact that the population is growing so much,” he said. “Orchard City is a good place to live and people are going to want to move here. There are no viable options but to accept growth, to try and see the changes coming and make decisions that help growth in a manner that doesn’t hurt you in the future.”

Sounds right to me. But, according to Suppes, not one application for a liquor license has been received since the election.

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