Booze on the ballot: Utah dry town mulls allowing alcohol

BLANDING, Utah (AP) — The rural Utah city of Blanding, one of the last “dry” communities in the Mormon-majority state, will ask voters Tuesday whether to allow beer and wine sales in town for the first time in more than 80 years.

The southeastern city of about 3,500 people has seen an influx of visitors in recent years, especially with the naming of the new Bears Ears National Monument in the town’s backyard. Some restaurant and hotel owners say even though most locals are Mormon and avoid alcohol, Blanding needs to accommodate those who do drink.

City officials said the town has been dry since the 1930s, and while talk of repealing the prohibition has bubbled up periodically, it’s time to put the issue before voters.

Councilman Joe Lyman says attitudes toward alcohol are relaxing and even if the ban isn’t lifted this this year, it likely will be in the future.

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