Special Event Permits

NOTICE:  Please submit your Special Event Liquor Permit application to the county a minimum of 60 days prior to the scheduled event. Depending on the size and location of your event, a special event land use permit may be required, which takes additional time for approval. 


Special event permits may be issued by local and state licensing authorities to particular types of organizations, permitting the organization to sell, by the drink only, fermented malt beverages or alcoholic beverages for a limited number of days at specific locations.

Who: Those who qualify for special event permits may or may not currently have a liquor license and must be one of the following:

* Organizations that are not for profit and have been incorporated pursuant to Colorado law for purposes of a social, fraternal, patriotic, political, or athletic nature;
* A regularly chartered branch, lodge or chapter of a national organization or society organized for such purposes, which is non-profit;
* An organization which is a regularly established religious or philanthropic institution;
* A political candidate who has filed the necessary reports with the Colorado Secretary of State;
* A municipality owning arts facilities at which productions of an artistic or cultural nature are held.

Permit Conditions:

* Cannot be issued to any organization for more than 10 days in one calendar year; days need not be consecutive;
* For sale, by the drink only, of malt beverages (beer), OR for sale, by the drink only, of alcoholic beverages;
* Sandwiches or other food snacks shall be available during all hours of service of malt, spirituous, or vinous liquors, but prepared meals need not be served; AND
* The permits are issued for a specific location and are not transferable from one organization or location to another. 


The application (DR 8439) must be accompanied by:

* A completed application, including the appropriate boxes checked on the second page;
* A copy of a Certificate of Good Corporate Standing issued by the Colorado Secretary of States office within the last two (2) years (a copy of a charter will also suffice);
* A letter or permit which authorizes their use of the designated premises for the special event function; and
* A copy (NOT larger than 8 ½” x 11”) of a drawing of the premises where the event is to be held with the area of sale, service and consumption outlined in red. Entrances and exits and the dimensions of the room(s) must be clearly marked on the drawing.
* Proof of a Sales Tax License: Applicants may apply online through the Colorado Department of Revenue web site.  

Depending on the size and location of the event, applicants may be required to apply for a special event land use permit. Please contact the Planning Department at 970-382-6260 to inquire about land use requirements at your specified location. 

The applicant is responsible for posting a notice regarding the event at the site of the event informing the public of the proposed sale of alcohol or beer at that event at least ten (10) days prior to the Local Licensing Authority meeting where the application will be heard. You can pick up a poster for this purpose from your Local Licensing Authority.

In accordance with C.R.S.44.5.107(5)(a)-(c) La Plata County has elected not to notify the state licensing authority for the purpose of obtaining the state licensing authority's approval or disapproval of an application for a special event permit; however, the local licensing authority must report to the liquor enforcement division, within ten days from issuance of a permit, the name of the permitted organization, the address of the permitted location, and the permitted dates of alcohol beverage service.

Applications shall be filed with the local licensing authority at least 60 days prior to the date of the special event.


There is no state fee for a special event permit.

Local Fees for Special Event Permits:

(a)   One hundred dollars per event for malt beverage, or
(b)   One hundred dollars per event for liquor


12-48-105. Restrictions related to permits.

(1)  Each special event permit shall be issued for a specific location and is not valid for any other location.

(2)  A special event permit authorizes sale of the beverage or the liquors specified only during the following hours:

   (a)  Between the hours of five a.m. of the day specified in a malt beverage permit    and until twelve midnight on the same day;

   (b)  Between the hours of seven a.m. of the day specified in a malt, vinous, and  spirituous liquor permit and until two a.m. of the day immediately following.

(3)  A special event permit may not be issued to any organization for more than ten days in one calendar year.

(4)  No issuance of a special event permit shall have the effect of requiring the state or local licensing authority to issue such a permit upon any subsequent application by an organization.

(5)  Sandwiches or other food snacks shall be available during all hours of service of malt, spirituous, or vinous liquors, but prepared meals need not be served.

Grounds for denial of special permit.

(1)  The local licensing authority shall cause a hearing to be held if, after investigation and upon review of the contents of any protest filed by affected persons, sufficient grounds appear to exist for denial of a permit. Any protest shall be filed by affected persons within ten days after the date of notice pursuant to section 12-48-106 (2). Any hearing required by this subsection (3) or any hearing held at the discretion of the local licensing authority shall be held at least ten days after the initial posting of the notice, and notice thereof shall be provided the applicant and any person who has filed a protest.

(2)  The local licensing authority may deny the issuance of a special event permit upon the grounds that such issuance would be injurious to the public welfare because of the nature of the special event, its location within the community, or the failure of the applicant in a past special event to conduct the event in compliance with applicable laws.


An organization otherwise qualifying under section 44-5-102 shall be exempt from the provisions of this article and shall be deemed to be dispensing gratuitously and not to be selling fermented malt beverages or malt, spirituous, or vinous liquors when it serves, by the drink, fermented malt beverages or malt, spirituous, or vinous liquors to its members and their guests at a private function held by such organization on unlicensed premises so long as any admission or other charge, if any, required to be paid or given by any such member as a condition to entry or participation in the event is uniform as to all without regard to whether or not a member or such member's guest consumes or does not consume such beverages or liquors.

For Further Information Regarding Liquor Licensing:

CONTACT:  Licensing Coordinator
1101 E. 2nd Avenue, Durango, CO 81301
(970) 382-6252 or by email

Special Event Permit Check List