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Push to form new state liquor license flops again at City Council

The governing body was divided on the resolution, striking it down on a 5–4 vote.

Mike Moser, executive director of the Wyoming State Liquor Association, speaks during the Cheyenne City Council meeting Monday, March 25 inside the Cheyenne Municipal Building. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Cheyenne City Council’s push to create a new slew of liquor licenses statewide has once again flopped.

On Monday night, the city’s governing body voted 5–4 on a resolution to introduce a bill to the Wyoming State Legislature during its 2025 session. The resolution proposes formulating a new variety of liquor licenses across the state that would allow businesses to sell beverages 5% alcohol in volume or less.

The council first struck down the alcohol license initiative during its Feb. 26 meeting. It lost out on a 5–4 vote. However, Ken Esquibel, who initially voted against the resolution, reintroduced the proposal at the city’s March 11 meeting. Councilmembers then voted to delay voting to March 25.

If the resolution had reached a majority vote, then the governing body would have requested that the Wyoming Association of Municipalities support the proposed legislation during its annual meeting in June. WAM would then work to present the resolution during the 2025 legislative session.

Mike Moser, executive director of the Wyoming State Liquor Association, again voiced his disapproval of the resolution on Monday night, much like he did on March 11. Moser said he would like to see Cheyenne’s governing body work with WAM on more pressing issues, such as affordable housing and local funding. He further stated that the new variety of liquor licenses won’t drive economic development as members of City Council believe they will.

“People are not going to buy more alcohol because there are more package liquor stores,” he said, adding that there would instead be more places where people purchase less. “You’re really not making any jobs, you’re not making any more revenue. You’re just getting the same pie and cutting it into smaller pieces.”

Councilmember Michelle Aldrich voted against the resolution, stating she believes WAM’s time is better suited addressing issues of higher importance such as affordable housing and property taxes.

“To put this forward and to clog the system … I think a lot of communities have made this decision locally, and I’m not sure this is the appropriate place to take this.”

Councilmember Jeff White concurred with Aldrich’s comments.

“We’ve just come out of the most contentious legislative sessions in recent memory,” White said. “Whatever political capital WAM has, I don’t want them spending it on this. I think there are bigger fish to fry.”

Councilmembers Segrave, Roybal, Aldrich, Laybourn and White voted against the proposal.