Bar owners discuss Carson Valley Days drinking rules |

Bar owners discuss Carson Valley Days drinking rules

by Sharlene Irete

About a dozen Gardnerville bar owners, who have experienced the unofficial festivities that happen on the Friday nights before Carson Valley Days, got together with law enforcement officers and county commissioners to discuss setting revelers’ p’s and q’s for next year’s bash.

The bar owners met with commissioners Jim Baushke and Doug Johnson, Sheriff Ron Pierini and Lt. Mike Biaggini at Sharkey’s Tuesday to discuss cutting alcohol off between 1 and 3 a.m. on the Saturday of the event.

“Last year on Friday before Carson Valley Days we had a problem with people drinking,” said Johnson. “We don’t want to pass an ordinance about drinking but would like a voluntary effort to not serve past 1 a.m. We’re trying to address it before it gets entirely out of hand.”

There are no scheduled events on the Friday before Carson Valley Days but party-goers have made a tradition of coming to Gardnerville to get drunk and wander in the street. Last year a person got hit by a vehicle while walking across Highway 395.

Buckaroo’s owner Steve Orlando said he’ll be doing his part and won’t be selling liquor in the back parking lot as had been done by previous owners.

“We’re going to have front and back security,” said Orlando. “Anyone intoxicated in my bar, we won’t be serving.

“What’s the big deal about cutting them off at 1 a.m.? They’re already so lit. We’ll go with you guys,” he said, pointing to the sheriff.

“It might be a good idea to have events to draw them away from the highway, embrace some sort of event,” Johnson said.

He said it is up to businesses to set up events and a schedule for them.

J.B. Lekumberry, owner of JT Basque Bar & Dining Room, suggested ideas to get the crowd to do something besides get drunk in the street.

“We should try to refocus what this event has become, divert their attention somehow,” Lekumberry said. “Make it a better event than just being in the street. Get with the flow with a polka dance, but we need more time for a plan for this.”

Lekumberry said to let people know through posters, the newspaper or the chamber of commerce “to come and party but the liquor stops at 1.”

Jerry Lane, the new general manager of Sharkey’s, had concerns about cutting off alcohol for several hours in the casino but said they want to do what’s reasonable and logical. Rules are already in place not to serve complimentary drinks to intoxicated people.

“Sharkey’s wants to be part of the community in a good way,” Lane said. “We want people to come in, have a good time and have a few drinks, but we’re not going to allow them to get drunk anymore. Not just during Carson Valley Days, that’s all the time. We’re not in the business about putting drunk people out on the street.

“We will modify and be as safe as we possibly can,” he said.

There were concerns by some of the proprietors about cutting alcohol off right at 1, but it was agreed giving plenty of forewarning would be a good idea.

“We’ll deal with the problem before cut-off time,” said Biaggini. “‘Have a good time but we’re stopping at 1.’ It shouldn’t be a shock.”

Johnson said the cut-off would be voluntary but the commissioners hope for a cooperative effort from businesses.

“If we ask the community to try not to serve alcohol from 1 to 3 we’ll send a message to people who come to mess things up.”

“What we can do is send out a request,” said Baushke. “We can’t force you to do it without passing an ordinance but I think people seem to be willing to do some things.”