Gov. Mike Leavitt's special projects office obtained permits Thursday to serve alcohol at the state government's premier Olympic social events.
The Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission granted single-event permits for nine different 2002 Winter Games hospitality centers or celebrations, including the governor's office.
The five-member panel didn't take testimony on the applications nor did it discuss them. Because the licenses are good for three days, organizations in some cases had to team up for a series of permits to cover the 17-day Olympics. The certificates allow wine, liquor and beer to be sold at the events.
Leavitt will throw parties at the University of Utah's Museum of Fine Arts for legislators and dignitaries Feb. 8 and Feb. 24, the first and last days of the 2002 Winter Games.
The state's Olympic gala will start before the opening and closing ceremonies.
State funds will not pay for the party. Leavitt will tap his special-projects fund, a campaign account holding about $500,000.
The state permits are necessary for the Olympic event because the intention is to sell alcohol. Utah law prohibits the serving of alcohol on state property. Lawmakers approved exemptions for certain events such as Olympic gatherings.
The state also will make booze available at what will be called the Utah Business Club. The state Division of Business and Economic Development intends to use the Devereaux Mansion near the Triad Center as places for local companies to entertain clients.
The Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Centro Financiero Hispano Americano and Holiday Management Inc., combined to obtain permits for the Devereaux Mansion.
Other entities receiving permits Thursday include a Bud Greenspan reception in Ogden, Norway House in Park City, the International Pub on State Street, a concert party at Saltair and an event called 2002 Olympic Celebrations at the Wells Fargo Center, the downtown headquarters for SLOC.
Contributing: Bob Bernick