NYT Spotlights Hyde Park Liquor Fight

The New York Times looks at the recent bitterly contested vote in Hyde Park, Utah to lift the town’s ban on alcohol sales.

Writes Dan Frosch:

When a convenience store chain approached city officials here last year about selling beer, people knew a fight was coming.

After all, this quiet town near the Idaho border, founded by Mormon pioneers, had a longstanding ban on alcohol sales. And in keeping with the tenets of the Mormon Church, few people in Hyde Park drank at all.

But this month, after a long and bitter battle, residents voted nearly two to one to allow alcohol sales, making Hyde Park one of the last bastions to loosen its rules on drinking in this button-down state, where liquor laws have grown less restrictive in recent years.

“This was the most emotional issue I’ve seen in Hyde Park,” said Bryan Cox, the mayor, who supported overturning the ban. “People were passionate on this, one way or the other.”