WBC rescinds its support of Alpine distillery proposal

WBC rescinds its support of Alpine distillery proposal

The Wyoming Business Council has rescinded its vote of support for the proposal Alpine distillery project. The rescinded WBC vote was announced last week.

The Wyoming Business Council discussed the project proposal and grant application during its meetings in Cheyenne Dec. 9-10. At that point, the WBC made the decision to support and recommend the project for funding at the State Lands and Investment Board meeting in January.

According to Alpine Mayor Kennis Lutz, now the WBC wants “further competitive analysis done” of the project. There is some concern from Wyoming based distilleries that it is unfair to bring an Idaho distillery into the state to compete with them, Lutz said. “At this point the grant application and request has been moved to the March meeting of the Wyoming Business Council,” said Lutz. “We are still going to move forward and present the application to the WBC at that point.”

According to Lutz, the project not only provides jobs for the Alpine area, it also serves as a gateway project for future growth. If approved, the project “will provide better access and an improved road to the Melvin Brewing Property as well as to a future marina site,” said Lutz. “We are looking at adding a parking area in the future and starting our pathway project down in that area,” he said. “So there are really a lot of good things that this funding could get into place for the Town of Alpine.”

The Wyoming Business Council grant application for the distillery includes a $2.8 million funding request. The project calls for constructing a 20,000 square foot building that will be utilized by Grand Teton Distillery. If funding for the project is approved, the new building would be located adjacent to the existing Melvin Brewing facility.

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WBC rescinds its support of Alpine distillery proposal

3 thoughts on “WBC rescinds its support of Alpine distillery proposal

  1. I don’t agree with the WBC’s decision to rescind its support of the project. It seems to me that this decision was solely based on the opinion of two individuals that wrote a pointy email to the WBC. Apparently, [They], (who seem to have a very different product line anyways) are afraid of healthy competition and feel like that they should be supported in keeping their monopoly intact. That is NOT how the free market works! Jobs are desperately needed in Star Valley, and as Mayor Lutz mentioned, Grand Teton would lead to further development, jobs and opportunities in Alpine. I encourage the business council to reach out to all WY residents that would be impacted by this project, and not just base their opinion on two disgruntled competitors.

  2. How is a government built business considered part of a free market? If this project is viable, why can’t they find private investment? The reason – it is not, that is why they are looking for the government grant. The same goes for Melvin – why did the state have to build their facility? What about the 20+ other breweries in WY? They should receive government aid according to your free market. Government does not require viability only taxing authority.

    1. Al, I agree wholeheartedly with your viewpoint. I own one of the distilleries in Wyoming that is dealing with the implantation of an out of state, government funded, distillery into an industry that already exists. The funds are going to the town of Apline, however, the idaho distillery will definitely receive a competitive advantage over the other distilleries in the state and most certainly didn’t earn it. We, along with all of the other operating distilleries in the state have invested large sums of our own, or borrowed money into our the companies we have built. We have argued our case with the Wyoming Business Council numerous times over the coarse of the past few months. The further analysis has been completed and the data does not support the need to fund this project, however, the Wyoming Business Council has recommended that the project be approved with some modifications to the original application that, although better than the original recommendation, still gives the town of Alpine funding to build the building to house the distillery. The next Wyoming Business Council Board Meeting is in Torrington on March 10th beginning at 8:00am. This project will be voted on at that time and then will be voted on by the SLIB on April 7th. We would appreciate any support from you that is possible because this project looks like it could pass. Thanks for your consideration.

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