Liquor licenses for senior centers? West Seattle-backed bill

First bit of news from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual membership meeting, just wrapped up in High Point (full meeting report later): Senior Center of WS director Karen Sisson (at left, with Chamber board chair Dave Montoure) stood up and requested support for a bill that 34th District State Senator Sharon Nelson is co-sponsoring on behalf of the center and others like it. SB 6076 would create a new type of liquor license for senior centers. Sisson says her center started the year $86,000 in the red and could make more money at its fundraisers if it had a liquor license – particularly evening events such as dances and the popular Rainbow Bingo. They’re not looking to open a bar, she stressed, though she said that if this goes through, the board might consider selling beer/wine at their upstairs cafĂ©. Alcohol sales at fundraisers, however, would be the main goal. The full text of the bill is here; it just had its “first reading” today and goes next to the Senate’s Labor, Commerce, and Consumer Protection Committee (If you would like to contact that committee’s members with an opinion on this bill, they’re listed here.)

20 Replies to "Liquor licenses for senior centers? West Seattle-backed bill"

  • don\'t want to get them in trouble, but ? January 11, 2012 (2:51 pm)

    isn’t there already a way to do that ? Providence Mt. St. Vincent serves/ sells beer and wine at the popular outdoor summer concerts

    • WSB January 11, 2012 (3:13 pm)

      They’re not a senior center – that’s a residential facility. SC of WS is not. This is very specifically regarding nonprofit senior centers that mostly serve as drop-in activity centers. For whatever reason, they need legislation to enable this kind of potential revenue-generating activity (and at what I guess is a reasonable price – if you read the legislation, it says the license would cost $720/year). – TR

  • WSJEEP January 11, 2012 (3:28 pm)

    Sorry Nope, Dont like this idea one bit.

  • Aman January 11, 2012 (3:48 pm)

    “Alcohol sales at fundraisers, however, would be the main goal.” – Senior Center of WS director Karen Sisson.

    Great idea! Think of it as a “lemonade stand” for adults.

  • Maddy January 11, 2012 (3:54 pm)

    To WSJEEP: Do
    you think anyone over 60 is too old to drink?

  • datamuse January 11, 2012 (3:59 pm)

    WSJEEP: Why not?

  • islewrite January 11, 2012 (4:07 pm)

    This would be great. I’ve rented the Senior Center for events many times–it’s a wonderful venue–and having a liquor license ready-to-go would save a lot of steps.

  • Star 55 January 11, 2012 (5:29 pm)

    Hard to believe it is not possible now. I support this 100%

  • Lorelee January 11, 2012 (5:46 pm)

    Agreed. Senior centers need a way to raise revenue AND engage a “younger” senior group!

  • question January 11, 2012 (5:56 pm)

    Mick Jagger is now a senior folks! So is David Bowie Prepare yourself for a big culture change folks in senior centers, assisted livings and nursing homes.

  • Bonnie January 11, 2012 (6:39 pm)

    I love the idea. Maybe I’ll have my 50th birthday party there in the not so distant future.

  • charlabob January 11, 2012 (6:50 pm)

    This is great news. I hope wsjeep comes back and explain s h(is)(er) objection. Seniors just aren’t as senior as we used to be…and elderly…never.

  • ttap January 11, 2012 (7:38 pm)

    Just imagine, our heads nodding to The Clash.

    • WSB January 11, 2012 (8:08 pm)

      Ttap, that’s actually what Karen told me when I talked with her about this as the Chamber lunch wound up, just after she’d told up to tell the group about it (I had also heard a mention from Sen. Nelson’s staff too, when asking them this week what she’s focused on right now) – that this is so they can get “the boomers” in! Of course, those of us who are 50+ **are** part of the Senior Center’s target demo now anyway … signed, #50isthenew25

  • Mike January 11, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    Why not! You can buy beer and wine at all kinds of stores now. Soon hard liquor will be available at many retail outlets.

  • visitor January 12, 2012 (1:37 am)

    I know a good “green” way to get lots of my generation up to the senior center!

  • Death Race 2012 January 12, 2012 (7:30 am)

    My only concern is having drunk seniors driving home from the fundraisers. No sidewalk seating, lighted crosswalk or nail salon would be safe in West Seattle.

  • coffee January 12, 2012 (8:23 am)

    IF you have not been to a Rainbow bingo, you should go, its really not just for seniors! It is a complete mixed crowd, hysterical and really fun. I was skeptical at first when I heard about this event, thinking a drag queen calling bingo at a senior center, and I went and it was one of the funnest times I had in ages. And the ability to offer drinks greatly increases their profits which are used to support our seniors in our community. Just because you don’t want to drink should not steer one away from this idea. The revenue helps support meals, activities, medical services, etc. This is in great need for our elderly members of our community living on very fixed incomes. When the next Bingo comes up, which is sometime in early Feb, go if you have not gone, its a good night of fun for not alot of money.

  • Aaron January 12, 2012 (8:43 am)

    I don’t understand why they don’t just get one day permits for the events. The permits are only about $20. People do it all the time for weddings and other events. Having a special “senior center” permit seems silly.

  • coffee January 12, 2012 (9:43 am)

    Aaron the law does not provide for this.

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