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City council discusses transfer of Ortega liquor license

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The Gallup City Council held a public hearing June 26 for the proposed transfer of ownership of an existing liquor license from the estate of Armand Ortega to K.A. Rose, LLC .

The Alcohol and Gaming Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department granted preliminary approval for the license transfer, stating the applicant is seeking transfer of the dispenser liquor license with on-premises consumption only.

The liquor license was held by the estate of Armand Ortega and was not being used as of June 25. The purchaser was identified as K.A. Rose, LLC, doing business as Mesa Lights, from Gallup. The proposed location for the license is 2915 W. Hwy. 66, known as the Gallup Inn and a former Howard Johnson and Holiday Inn.

City Attorney Curtis Hayes spoke for the item, stating that the council can vote to deny the transfer if the applicant violates city laws and ordinances with the location of the liquor license. But, he said, in this case the location was legal.

Amelia Ortega Crowther, personal representative for the estate of Armand Ortega, was present to speak for the reason behind the transfer.

“The family sold the Gallup Inn to [K.A. Rose, LLC] and wanted the license to go along with the hotel,” she said during the meeting.

James Mason, of Mason and Isaacson, P.A., represented K.A. Rose, LLC at the meeting. He stated the the license transfer was sought as part of the hotel operation.

He added that K.A. Rose, LLC could find ways to enhance the use of the license on the premises, such as providing more meeting rooms for various functions.

“It’s always good to have choices for [hosting these events,]” Mason said.

Dist. 4 Councilor Fran Palochak said that a number of hotels in her district are vacant, so it makes her happy to see new hotels and the efforts of those business owners.

She added that the transfer of the license with the business it could bring to the west side, is a win-win for Gallup.

“The liquor is served within the hotel only, so it is not a problem in the area, and there are big spaces to have events,” Palochak said. “I am pleased that [K.A. Rose, LLC] is here to do this.”

The item was approved with a 4-0-0 vote.

Other items discussed at the meeting:

The annual request for street closures for the monthly ArtsCrawl was approved with a 4-0-0 vote. Dist. 4 Councilor Fran Palochak praised ArtsCrawl Director Rhonda Quintana for her work, stating the event is wonderful and gets bigger every month.

The request for street closures and a special dispenser’s permit for the beer garden for The Route 66 Freedom Ride and Gurley Motors Car Show was approved with a 4-0-0 vote. Mayor Jackie McKinney said the events have been good for downtown Gallup and the community loves them.

Three items from the Behavioral Health Investment Zone were approved with a 4-0-0 vote. The items are agreements for Administration of Detox Services, intensive counseling at Na’Nizhoozhi Center Inc., and aftercare services at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services. The BHIZ budget for the three items totals to under $1.1 million.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent