We usually think of hotel liquor licenses as on premise licenses where the purchaser consumes the alcoholic beverage on-site at the hotel bar or restaurant (or in the hotel room via room service). However, in some circumstances, a hotel can retail alcoholic beverages like a convenience store for consumption off premises.
The Liquor Authority can issue a hotel licensee a permit to sell liquor and wine at retail for off-premises consumption. This HOP (Hotel off-premises) permit may only be issued if there is an establishment with an off-premises liquor license located within eight miles of the hotel. Off-premises licenses include liquor stores, wine stores and grocery stores. Oddly enough, liquor must be for sale nearby. You’d think the opposite would make more sense – that alcohol could only be sold for off premises consumption if there wasn’t another nearby option.
The distance of eight miles is measured using the driving distance between the hotel and the nearest establishment with an off-premises liquor license. The measurement is taken from the points on the public road which are closest to the entrances of the hotel and the establishment with the off-premises liquor license. This differs from the way measurements are taken for the 200 and 500 foot rules (measured “as the bird flies” to quote an SLA Examiner).
Determinations on applications for HOP permits are made by the Liquor Authority in accordance with public convenience and advantage standards, the same standard applied to other off-premises retail licenses like liquor and wine stores.
If you would like to consider applying for an HOP permit for your hotel, contact our office. We’d be happy to assist.