NE New Castle voters should support option

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

In less than two weeks, voters in the Northeast New Castle precinct will have a chance to decide whether or not Henry County Country Club can sell alcohol.

They should vote to approve the measure.

Do you want Henry County businesses to be competitive, or do you not? I certainly do.

One simply needs to look at the success story that is Smith-Berry Winery, whose annual dinner and concert series draws thousands of people into Henry County over the course of five months. The event continues to grow in popularity, bringing people in from throughout the region.

It’s a pleasant and fun evening of good food and good music, and yes, you can get some wine while you’re there, as many visitors do. The winery has no doubt brought untold tourism dollars into the county.
On May 28 alone, more than 700 visitors gathered for this year’s opening dinner and concert. I suspect that most of those were not from Henry County.

Admittedly, a small family farm winery and a country club that wants to offer alcohol sales by the drink are two different things. But the same success that happened at the winery could come to the Country Club.

To put it simply, in order to be competitive with other golf courses in the region, the Country Club needs to be able to sell alcohol by the drink.

The availability of alcohol sales at the golf course might not be a deciding point for some visitors, as some already bring in their own. But allowing the Country Club to sell alcohol would give them some degree of control over how much their patrons are drinking — something they don’t have now.

Alcohol sales also would bring additional revenue to the Country Club, something just about every business these days could use.

The purported evils of alcohol are routinely recited by opponents whenever a question such as this comes up, and they are then routinely debunked after passage when the predicted doomsday scenarios fail to materialize.

Alcohol misuse and abuse are very real problems with very serious, sometimes tragic, consequences. To pretend otherwise would be foolish. But it seems that most people who consume alcohol do so responsibly and in moderation. They should have the chance to enjoy a beer, if they choose, at their favorite golf course.