Staff to propose expanding areas alcohol is served at Waco Convention Center

Posted at 7:53 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:30-04

The areas where alcohol can be served at the Waco Convention Center could change, if the city council approves it.

The Waco Convention Center Interim Director, Rusty Black, will present a proposal to the council to apply for a mixed beverage permit for the entire building with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The current permit allows alcohol to be stored, sold and served in the catering kitchen. If customers want alcohol to be served at their event, staff requests a temporary permit before the event.

For the most part, that permit is limited to the room where the event will be held.

“If they took alcohol with them, they were in violation. Sometimes it caused issues with our security officers because they will take you back in there and you had to leave your drink inside or pour it out to go to the bathroom,” Black said.

In addition, Black also said having a permit that allows alcohol to be served in the whole building would also help with customers requesting last minute changes.

"It adds flexibility and improves customer service,” Black said. "The change could also prevent loss of revenue due to donated alcohol," he added.  

According to Black, under TABC guidelines, customers can bring donated alcohol into the building for their event as long as they don’t charge for it and make it available to those who wanted it.

Black said at two events this year, alcohol that had not been purchased at the WCC was served, which caused a potential $11,000 loss for the WCC.

“The Convention Center loses the opportunity to sell and those make that revenue to help with operations and keep the prices low,” Black said.

The Convention Center uses its revenue to operate the event venue.

"If the Convention Center needs to replace the roof or the HVAC system, we are totally dependent on the revenue we can generate to pay for those things. We have to be cautious anytime we talk about revenue and make sure it goes back to the facility," Black said.

In July, the Waco Convention Center and Advisory Board discussed the proposed change and unanimously approved it.

Black will give a presentation to the council during its work session at 3 p.m. proposing to obtain a different permit.

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