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Clark County OKs temporary alcohol home delivery

Updated April 7, 2020 - 1:31 pm

Clark County on Tuesday became the second jurisdiction in the Las Vegas Valley to allow temporary home delivery of alcohol amid the state’s stay-at-home mandate.

The Board of County Commissioners gave the green light Tuesday for the Department of Liquor and Gaming to begin processing temporary home delivery requests.

The delivery service is set to expire April 30, but it could be extended if Gov. Steve Sisolak lengthens the statewide shutdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Jacqueline Holloway, Clark County’s director of liquor and gaming.

Las Vegas officials allowed alcohol delivery to begin late last week in the city, with Lee’s Discount Liquor being the first establishment to offer the service. Within hours of opening online sales, Lee’s had to temporarily halt orders due to overwhelming demand.

Lee’s and Total Wine & More were the only two liquor stores approved by the city for delivery, but other stores are hoping to deliver in the coming weeks.

Kevork Nersessian, general manager of Liquor Emporium on North Jones Boulevard, said staff members spoke to the city of Las Vegas on Friday about being allowed to deliver products within city limits. He hopes the company can start making deliveries as soon as next week.

Holloway said that Henderson and North Las Vegas officials are discussing whether to offer similar services, and that it was important to have uniformity across the Las Vegas Valley.

City of Henderson public information officer Kathleen Richards said Monday that the city has not decided whether to allow home delivery of liquor.

“There is no meeting to specifically address this topic,” she said. “However, the city’s policy group meets regularly and this may be a topic that is discussed in a future meeting.”

Holloway said businesses interested providing the delivery service can email the county with their request.

All orders must be made online or by phone by someone 21 years or older, and businesses must follow a number of guidelines. They must make note of what products are sold, who is buying and how they their identities are confirmed.

The temporary arrangement pertains only to home delivery and not curbside pickup, Holloway said. The businesses are required to remain closed and operate within the safety recommendations set by the statewide declaration of emergency.

Third-party companies like Uber Eats are prohibited from delivering alcohol; only liquor store staff members may make deliveries.

Offering deliveries could help liquor stores recoup some revenue and customers lost since being shut down last month, especially since grocery stores are allowed to sell alcohol.

“In Nevada, and more specifically in Clark County, grocery serves as competition to many liquor stores,” said Jason Horwitz, owner of Super Liquor McCarran on East Tropicana Avenue. “Given the fact that liquor was seen as a nonessential, but still being sold, was a potential cause for additional long-term losses for many stores.”

Letting grocery stores sell alcohol while liquor stores are closed would be like letting slot machines at service stations and grocery outlets stay open while casinos are closed, he said.

“At the end of the day, these are trying, stressful times for all,” Horwitz said. “We believe the county is doing everything they can to assist and have been doing so in a timely manner. Ultimately, we are all in this together. We (Super Liquor) remain supportive of this great city and all of those who are collectively working to help dig us out of this temporary disaster we are in.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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