Obtaining a Liquor License
To obtain a liquor license in unincorporated Ouray County, call the Ouray County Clerk and Recorder's office at (970) 325-4961 for information. For licenses located within the City of Ouray or the Town of Ridgway contact them directly.
Liquor License Renewals
All liquor licenses are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. Approximately 90 days prior to expiration, the Department of Revenue should send you your renewal forms. If you do not receive these, please contact Liquor Enforcement at (303) 205-2300.
Please complete the renewal forms and return them to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, P. O. Box C, Ouray, Colorado 81427. (Do not submit your application to state.)
Make sure you include two checks with your renewal, one for state and one for Ouray County. Contact the Clerk & Recorder for information on local renewal fees.
New Licenses and Transfers of Ownership
To apply for either a new liquor license, or to transfer the ownership of an existing liquor license, you will need to complete the following forms:
Retail License Application
3.2% Beer License Application
Individual History Record
With your application you will need to submit three (3) checks to: A) Department of Revenue for state fees; B) Ouray County Clerk and Recorder for County fees; and C) Colorado Bureau of Investigation for background checks. See Fee List for appropriate amounts.
The entire process for a new license or to transfer ownership of an existing license can take anywhere from 60-90 days. To expidite this process it is recommended that new licenses applicants request a Concurrent Review by the state. Transfer of ownership applicants may request a temporary permit be issued by the County. The cost for these is an additional $100.
It is highly recommended that you sit down with the Clerk & Recorder when completing your application, as there are many requirements that need to be met to obtain a liquor license. Failure to meet any of these requirements could seriously delay processing of the application.
Special Events Permits Guidelines
If you are a nonprofit agency and are planning to hold a liquor-related event at an establishment in unincorporated Ouray County that does not possess a liquor license, you must apply for a Special Events Permit. All applications must be received by the Clerk and Recorder’s Office at least 30 days prior to the date of the event, to allow for proper processing. Failure to do so will result in your application being denied! You may be asked to appear before the Board of County Commissioners
Special Event Permit fees are $10 per day if you plan to dispense 3.2% beer only, and $25 per day if you plan to dispense malt (regular beer), vinous, and spirituous liquors. You must pay these fees to both the state (Department of Revenue) and Ouray County (Ouray County Clerk and Recorder).
All licensees possessing either a Hotel and Restaurant or a Tavern License are required to register their managers with local and state authorities. Should your designated manager cease to work for you, you must notify Ouray County within five days and register a new manager within 30 days.
To register a manager complete the following forms:
Report of Changes
, and a Fingerprint Card. Contact local law enforcement agency for fingerprinting. Please complete and submit, along with the appropriate fees, to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
All persons applying for a new liquor license, or for the transfer of ownership of a liquor license, or for a manager’s registration must submit a fingerprint card for a background check. Fingerprint cards can be obtained from any local law enforcement.
Checks are performed by the Ouray County Sheriff’s Department and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI fee for conducting such background checks is $38.50 per individual. This fee is separate from other state and county fees that may be incurred. The CBI accepts only Business, Cashier’s, or Certified checks only, no personal checks. Please include this with your application.