Sep 212011
 
Authors: Matt Miller

Sports eXchange, an Old Town bar, was shut down this week for 20 days with a suspended liquor license as penalty for selling alcohol to a visibly intoxicated customer.

The bar shut down Monday following an incident in June when police aided a woman vomiting outside of Sports eXchange, who had also fallen inside of the business, a Fort Collins Police report said.

After being transported to Poudre Valley Hospital the woman told the officer she did not remember leaving another bar, Luscious Nectar, and did not know how she got into Sports eXchange and how many drinks she had there, the report said.

“I believed that she was visibly intoxicated when she arrived at the Sport eXchange,” said Officer Kyle Bendzsa, who wrote the report. He later confirmed the woman was served drinks at the bar.

The owner of Sports eXchange was unable to be reached for comment.

By law, bars must refuse service to any customer that is visibly intoxicated. Bendzsa then forwarded the incident to the Fort Collins Liquor Licensing Authority, who ordered the suspension.

This shutdown of Sports eXchange has not come as a shock for students.

“I’ve seen some crazy fights in front of that place,” said junior marketing major Eric Alm. “You could tell it was a sketchy operation.

Although Alm said he tends to stay away from the wild atmosphere of Sports eXchange, others enjoy it and have even had their own altercations at the bar.

“I got kicked out of there last Saturday –– the guy was really nice about it though,” said Mike Wells, a CSU graduate student studying chemistry. “Apparently I was lightly swaying, and I was gently escorted out.”

Senior Spanish major Brianna Swenson also wasn’t surprised with the suspension of Sports eXchange’s liquor license.

“I feel like people go to Sports eXchange to go crazy,” Swenson said. “I don’t get how you can get a place like that to tell if you’re too drunk.”

Jeremy Kempter, the owner of Luscious Nectar, said his staff is trained to be diligent at all times for customers who are too intoxicated.

“We try to nip it in the bud by not letting people in who are visibly intoxicated to begin with,” Kempter said.

His business uses security outside, roaming security inside and the training of servers and bartenders to catch customers who have had too much. He said they look for people causing problems and people with their head down or bobbing back and forth.

Customers showing these symptoms are then escorted out of the bar.

“People don’t want to be removed,” Kempter said. “It may offend people, but it’s a necessary part of the industry.”

Over a busy weekend, Kempter said Luscious Nectar asks about four to six customers to leave.

He said, however, that some businesses might let customers say to increase business.

“I understand some businesses would want to crank out as much business as they can, but I would rather give up sales than have problems,” Kempter said.

On top of the 20-day suspension, Sports eXchange was given 30 days of abeyance, meaning if the bar breaks any other laws in within one year it will have 30 days of suspension plus any punishment from the new violation.

In May of this year the bar was forced to pay a fine of $1,456.83 for selling alcohol to a minor.

News Editor Matt Miller can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:22 pm

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