Bent Mountain Center hopes to allow alcohol at events - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Bent Mountain Center hopes to allow alcohol at events

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Board members with the Bent Mountain Center want the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors to allow alcohol at the center's events. The county owns the property and leases the space to the center. As part of the current agreement, alcohol is not permitted.

Exercise, art and hunting classes are some of the activities that take place at the Bent Mountain Center.

"We have a lot of bluegrass music, rock concerts and gospel concerts" said Patti Hanes, Bent Mountain Center treasurer.

The space once housed the Bent Mountain Elementary School but now the county leases the space to the community center. Hanes said it usually cost about $15,000 a year to operate the facility. However, this year, some unexpected expenses came up.

"We needed to add heating in two of the classrooms" said Hanes.

In an effort to make more money and attract more events, board members asked the county to change the lease agreement to allow alcohol on the property. Board members said adding alcohol could attract wine-tasting events and help boost revenues.

Alcohol sales can provide a boost to local businesses. For instance, the Bent Mountain Bistro opened last summer but it wasn't until January that owners received state permits to sell wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages. Since then, they've noticed a big difference at the cash register.

"We've seen an increase in food sales" said Benjamin Ward, Bent Mountain Bistro owner. Beer, wine and alcohol only account for 8% of total sales but it's made a big difference in overall sales."

Hanes and other Bent Mountain Center board members hope to see revenues increase if the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors makes changes to the lease agreement and allows alcohol on the county-owned property.

Discussions about alcohol being served at the Bent Mountain Center are still in the early phase. County leaders continue to ask questions about insurance and permits needed for the center to have alcohol on the premises.

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