Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/17/1995 03:15 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SB 78 AM - ALCOHOL SALES IN HOTEL ROOMS                                     
 The next order of business was SB 78 am.                                      
 that tourists, especially European and Japanese travelers, feel               
 that this is an amenity that they want in hotel rooms.  This bill             
 seeks to authorize the Alaska Beverage Control (ABC) Board to allow           
 beverage dispensary license holders the right to allow self serve             
 liquor sales in hotel and motel rooms.  He said that the current              
 plan is to allow alcoholic beverages to be stocked in lockable                
 refrigerators placed in the rooms.  Once the hotel or motel staff             
 has determined the registered guest to be at least 21 years of age,           
 a key to the locked unit can be obtained along with the room key.             
 He stated that the bill has been introduced at the urging of many             
 hotel and motel operators, as well as the Alaska Hotel and Motel              
 Association, the Alaska Cabaret Hotel Restaurant and Retailers                
 Association, and others.  He pointed out that the Seventeenth                 
 Alaska Legislature had passed SB 183, which was an identical bill,            
 but that Governor Hickel had vetoed it.  He stated there is a zero            
 fiscal note and that the director of the ABC Board, Pat Sharrock,             
 had furnished a letter stating, "because the bill retains the                 
 provision that the board must authorize stocking of alcohol                   
 beverages in hotel rooms and the board may provide for permit for             
 stocking by regulation, the board does not object to the proposed             
 amendment to the current statutes which this bill encompasses."  He           
 read a portion of a letter from Frank Rose of North American Asset            
 Management which stated, "I believe that it's important legislation           
 for the hospitality business.  It allows a service to be provided             
 that many facilities outside Alaska provide to vacation and                   
 business travelers.  In fact, it has become an expected amenity.              
 The new mini bar systems have a number of features that allow for             
 control, such as the time of use, automatic inventory, special key            
 systems, et cetera.  Additionally, statistics show that the primary           
 use of the mini bar is for dispensing snacks and non-alcoholic                
 beverages, but the alcoholic beverage sales are important because             
 they make the system profitable."                                             
 Number 175                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out the differences between SB 78 and HB 162.           
 He said that SB 78 contains the requirement that the person                   
 stocking the alcoholic beverages be at least 21 years of age and              
 can only take place during certain hours.  He stated that it also             
 contains provision that the key cannot be removable from the unit's           
 lock unless the unit is in fact locked.  SB 78 further makes the              
 provision for the ABC Board to issue permits for the dispensary               
 service, and by regulation, set the fee for the administrative                
 cost.  He stated that it deletes the provisions of minimum rooms.             
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the refrigerated unit, using a key or                  
 combination lock system within the guest room, is included in those           
 systems that are electronically controlled by the front desk.                 
 SENATOR SHARP responded that was correct.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG made a motion to move SB 78 am, out            
 of the House Labor and Commerce Committee, with individual                    
 recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 the motion passed.                                                            

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