Utah’s liquor laws are legendary, but that doesn’t keep the Legislature from standing firm against access to alcohol. Senate President Michael Waddoups has long sung the tune of temperance, underscoring a belief that the mere sight—or maybe even the thought—of an alcoholic beverage will send people into a drunken frenzy. So, the bill proposed by Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City, to get rid of the “Zion Curtain,” which hides bartenders from the public, is going nowhere. We won’t even talk about increasing the number of restaurant or bar permits—you know where that leads. Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, though, may get her pilot program opening some liquor stores on some holidays. Meanwhile, it looks like Utah may get two more liquor commissioners. (Read more about liquor legislation here.)
City Creek Center is about to open, signaling an end to a downtown notable by being a big hole in the ground. The development has been relatively devoid of controversy, maybe because you can’t argue with what the LDS Church owns. But the shopping center will be a welcome and much-anticipated addition to downtown. It has already stolen back some businesses from The Gateway. Hey, turnabout is fair play, right? Besides the retail appeal, there will be a slight Big Brother feel about the development, with cameras checking you out. No bars and no Sunday shopping, but you will be able to get a cocktail with restaurant food. In many ways, City Creek is an experiment as the Mormon church tries to predict future trends and tweak bad behaviors.
Now here’s a coincidence for you. The Utah Senate endorsed a resolution in favor of connecting the four ski resorts in the Cottonwood canyons with three in the Park City area. No, no, say Republican senators, it isn’t an endorsement of the SkiLink gondola that would glide between Canyons and Solitude, and is interwoven with a congressional effort to force the feds to sell land for that purpose. The whole thing has become a campaign issue for county mayoral hopefuls, with Republicans chanting a pro-business mantra and Democrats calling for environmental sensitivity. Indeed, driving and parking around the increasingly popular resorts is a problem—much as it is along the Wasatch Front, where light rail is still a hot-button issue and its effect on traffic questionable. Go figure how sometimes politicians want traffic options, and sometimes they don’t.