Hayden Town Council approves airport liquor license

Beer and wine available starting today in Yampa Valley Regional Airport secure area

— Beer and wine are available today at Charlie Epp’s Yampa Valley Regional Airport sec­ure-area eatery.

The Hayden Town Council unanimously approved a liquor license transfer and temporary liquor permit for Epp, who began operating from the airport’s secure area in late December.

The ability to serve beer and wine was the last approval Epp needed to offer his full menu. He said getting up and running has been a lot of work, but it’s been worth it for him and his wife, Christine.

The liquor license was transferred from Trini Riley, who operated the second floor restaurant HDN Paradise Bar & Grill and the secure-area Hot Dog’n Para­­dise.

Airport Manager Dave Rup­pel has said Riley defaulted on her contract with Routt County to provide concessions at YVRA. The restaurant and hot dog stand were shut down in December, and Rup­pel asked Epp to expand his main terminal breakfast operation to the secure area.

“It’s been a huge help to have these guys step up at the last moment,” Ruppel said Thursday night. Airport passengers were without a secure-area eatery for a little less than two weeks in December. And they’ll be without the restaurant because Routt County policy requires that Ruppel request proposals, which would take the rest of the ski season.

Epp’s fare includes cold deli sandwiches, barbecue beef and pork sandwiches, elk and buffalo bratwurst and a variety of hot dogs, all ranging in price from $4 to $6.50.

The temporary liquor permit will allow Epp to operate until the liquor license transfer is processed.

Epp, who also operates C’s Catering in Hayden, said he’s excited to be back mingling with travelers.

“It’s a personable business, food service, and I really enjoy that,” he said. “I want them to feel good and come back on vacation again.”

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the Town Council thanked Interim Town Manager Lance Stewart for his service to Hayden and welcomed David Torgler, the new town manager.

Mayor Jim Haskins thanked Stewart for his service to Hayden, which started Aug. 30.

Haskins praised Stewart for his ability to work with staff members and the Town Council. During his tenure, Stewart led the process that eventually led to Torgler’s hire, and he helped draft the 2011 budget, which council members approved in December.

Stewart said he’s become fond of the staff and different community groups he worked with.

“It’s been an absolute delight,” he said. “I’ve looked forward to every day I’ve been here. I think the community should feel real fortunate to have a board and staff as dedicated as they are.”

See Sunday’s Steamboat Pilot & Today for more about the first week on the job for Torgler.

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