By: Tanya Andrews | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2014
(L to R): Tanya Andrews, executive director, Visit Claremore; Dwayne Caldwell; Rick Hatley, general manager, Buffalo Wild Wings.
Rogers County Citizens for Growth is a grassroots effort led by caring citizens whose goals are to increase business opportunities for our local restaurants and bars, and to encourage growth for future businesses.
On June 24, Rogers County voters will decide on “Liquor By the Drink Sales on Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.” In the state of Oklahoma, there are only 18 counties that do not allow alcoholic beverages to be sold on Sundays; a few of those counties are in northeast Oklahoma, such as Rogers, Mayes and Craig counties.
“Claremore and Rogers County suffer when there is leakage of food and beverage sales (cocktails, wine, and strong beer),” said Tanya Andrews, executive director of the Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our board of directors voted to support this measure as it relates to our hospitality partners, current and future. We believe that removing barriers such as the current no liquor by the drink sales on Sundays will assist in recruiting new restaurants while increasing business for our existing partners. Three new hotels are coming, along with a new convention center. We are excited to see the growth and opportunity and want to see it continue.”
According to a recent market research study by Nielsen Claritas, the city of Claremore loses an estimated $11,910,000 annually, to restaurants, drinking establishments and the purchasing of alcoholic beverages outside of Rogers County. That is more than $350,000 in sales taxes for the city of Claremore, and more than $218,300 in county sales taxes, that we contribute to surrounding counties: local dollars being spent to pave roads, and hire more police and fire personnel elsewhere.
This is not a moral issue, but one of choice, growth and opportunity. Residents have voiced their desire for years, the want for new restaurants like Olive Garden or a steak house such as Lonestar Steakhouse, just to name a few. However, this law prohibits our restaurant partners, current or future, from being successful.
By working with city and county leaders to remove barriers such as this, we better position ourselves in a competitive marketplace. Major chain restaurants depend on revenue from the sales of their bar service; some even report 45 percent of revenues are made from the sale of cocktails. Not being able to forecast positive growth for a new restaurant might give owners and decision makers enough reason not come to Rogers County.
Voters have a decision to make. First, the Rogers County Citizens for Growth encourages all eligible voters to vote. Second, please consider the following regarding the “Liquor By the Drink Sales on Sunday” measure: this is about consumer’s choice, business growth, and future opportunities!
For more information regarding Rogers County Resolution 2014-96, Liquor by the Drink Sales on Sunday, call Rogers County Citizens for Growth at 918-284-5186 or the Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau at 918-341-8688.
For more information, contact