Please take a moment to contact your legislators...

Dear Marina Owner/Operators:

Please take a moment to copy and paste the following letter onto your letterhead stationary. Fill in the blanks, email, or print and fax or mail to your legislators. This is very important. Kent James from the ABLE Commission could not stress enough at the conference how important it is that the legislators hear from those who are directly affected by the new laws.

If you need mailing and/or email addresses for your local State Representatives or State Senators, they are available at www.okhouse.gov and www.oksenate.gov .

Dear _________________:
 
The implementation of the new beer, wine, and liquor law “Modernization” resulted in a variety of unforeseen and unintended detriments to the business operations of marinas throughout the State of Oklahoma. I hope you will join in legislative efforts to correct these problems in the upcoming legislative session – hopefully sooner rather than later so our operations are not further impeded as the spring boating season arrives. Here are the problems:

NO ALCOHOL ON CREDIT: This has never been a problem for marinas in the past because 3.2 beer was not regulated by the ABLE Commission. However, now that it is regulated as an alcoholic beverage, the prohibition against selling it on credit is a serious problem for marina operations. We bill our slip renters and customers on a monthly basis, included their purchases at ship stores. That, of course, includes beer (and now wine, in some cases). I see no reason for the continuation of this antiquated restriction. It has been amended in recent years, incidentally, to allow charging “on nationally recognized debit and credit cards.” Why not amend it to include “member accounts with regular monthly billing for goods and services” or some similar language.

This is not just a problem for marinas. All golf and country clubs throughout the state also bill their members monthly for all purchases, including food and beverages.

NO RETAIL BEER LICENSES ON PREMISES OF MIXED BEVERAGE LICENSES: This is a serious problem for a variety of operations throughout the state – and no one seems to know the reason for this restriction. By way of explanation, many marina operations have a food & beverage counter or a bar within the confines of the ship store. This restriction against having two licenses in the same premise means, if we choose to serve our customers a beer or mixed beverage with lunch, we cannot sell them beer to go on their boat. Allowing service for “Mixed Beverages for On Premises Consumption” and “Beer and wine for on-or-off premises consumption seems to be a logical approach; but it is a problem that needs to be addressed by the legislature to enable us to continue operations as we have in the past.

This problem is also a problem for all golf and country clubs throughout the state.

Changing the law to allow sales of alcoholic beverage for on-premises consumption AND retail beer bulk sales for off-premises consumption requires a change in the law, but it does NOT represent a change of the status quo. Since bulk beer sales of 3.2 beer have never been regulated by the ABLE Commission (prior to enactment of the new laws October 1, 2018), there has never before been a prohibition against having both a Mixed Beverage License (issued by the ABLE Commission) and a Retail Beer License (issued by the Oklahoma Tax Commission, County and Municipality). Failure to change the law represents a significant negative impact on existing operations.

Senator Michael Bergstrom (R-Adair) and Representative Josh West (R-Grove) have been working on legislation to correct these problems. I hope you will join with them and resolve these issues quickly in the upcoming legislative session.
 
Sincerely,
 
________________________________
Name, Marina, Lake, City


Special thanks to Mike Williams of Shangri-La Resort and Marina on Grand Lake and Vice President of the Oklahoma Marina Association for taking the time to draft this letter for us.

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Oklahoma Marina Association
14584 Arrowhead Point Road
Kingston, Oklahoma 73439
580.565.0186