New population estimates will allow Utah liquor regulators to issue six more restaurant liquor permits before the 2002 Winter Olympics beginning Feb. 8.
State planners estimated the population as of Jan. 1 at 2,315,486, roughly 20,000 more than estimated for mid-2001. The state planners' estimates have been higher than those made by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission meets Jan. 31 and could issue the new permits at that time.
Another two restaurant permits, relinquished since December, should raise to eight the number of available permits.
Competition will be fierce to land a permit before the start of the Olympics. Fifteen applicants competed for four restaurant permits last month. At least that many are expected to seek a permit this time around.