Fort Davis business owner aims to change local alcohol sales laws

FORT DAVIS — Local businessman Roy Hurley, owner and operator of Harvard Hotel and H.E. Sproul Ranch, is reigniting the perennial issue of alcohol sales in Fort Davis, bringing back a petition effort to unify the rules of alcohol sales in Jeff Davis County. Hurley is asking for Jeff Davis County registered voters to sign a petition to change current local alcohol sales laws, intending to put the cause on the November ballot.

In order to get on the November ballot, Hurley’s petition must gain 409 signatures, equivalent to 35% of all people who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Only registered voters of Jeff Davis County will be counted as valid signatures, and the businessman has 60 days to collect the signatures.

The Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce has filed for the same initiative twice in the past, both failing to meet the required signatures to succeed.

“We had a tough time in 2020 getting signatures because everyone was in quarantine and local mandates restricted us from going directly to the voters’ doors,” said Melissa Henderson, chamber director. “This is an important initiative to our small business owners. All businesses should have equal rights to sell alcohol at their establishment if desired. Please sign the petition and vote in November to change our antiquated laws on alcohol sales.”

Currently, the right to sell alcohol is divided across precincts in Jeff Davis County, with businesses in some portions able to sell, while others down the road that fall in another precinct are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. Hurley’s aim is to unify the county’s liquor laws, legalizing all alcohol and mixed beverage sales in all four precincts of Jeff Davis County.

Signatures must be signed by individuals in person. According to the chamber, the petition is available to sign at the Harvard Hotel and the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce.  For a signature to be valid it must be accompanied by the signer’s printed name, the signer’s date of birth, the signer’s address and the date of signing.