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Kentucky Dam Park liquor sales off to good start

BY ANDREA MOORE amoore@paducahsun.com

When tourists drive into Kentucky Dam Village State Park, they see a large banner that reads "Now serving Coors Light."

According to Park Manager Scott Ratzlaff, the park has seen a 5 to 8 percent bump in revenue since liquor sales began on Aug. 1 at the Harbor Lights restaurant located in the park.

"Being able to serve liquor is another amenity that we can provide to our guests and add to our menu," Ratzlaff said.  "We also have the ability to offer our guests liquor through our catering services throughout the park."

The park, which was recently annexed by Calvert City, was able to begin serving because the city's law permits liquor sales.  According to Randy Newcomb, executive director of the Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, a frequent question tourists to the Marshall County area ask is does the county have a place to get a drink.  

"Now we not only have a place they can go to get a drink but an actual resort they can visit that serves alcohol," Newcomb said. "This is a boost for Kentucky Dam Village State Park and the area."

Newcomb said in September a large convention of around 200 outdoor writers from the Great Lakes area will be coming to stay at the park, and one of the things they requested was alcohol.  

"Now, instead of visitors having to go someplace else to get a drink, they can stay at the park without having to drive," Newcomb added. 

Gill Lawson, communications director for the Kentucky Tourism Cabinet, said the sale of alcoholic beverages has been popular at other state resort parks across Kentucky.

"The introduction of alcoholic beverages was a positive step for those parks, and it will be a positive step for Kentucky Dam Village State Park," Lawson said. According to Ratzlaff, the park is serving beer, wine and spirits.  

"We have had extensive training for our staff on how to serve liquor and how to handle different situations they may face, Ratzlaff said.  "Since we began offering alcohol, we have had no issues or disturbances related to serving it."  

Ratzlaff said the park gets its liquor through licensed distributors for Kentucky, and they follow all the regulations of the Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control Department.

Contact Andrea Moore, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8684.

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