Trusting the people involved will act responsibly, the city council recently agreed to allow alcohol at the Cody Rec Center for two evenings during the Cody Racquetball Classic Tournament in December.
This is just the second time in the city-owned Rec Center’s 18-year history people at the facility have drank alcohol during an event.
The only other time alcoholic beverages were consumed at the Rec Center was during its grand opening when beer and wine were served, according to Rick Manchester, parks and rec supervisor.
Introducing the racquetball club’s request at the Nov. 19 council meeting, Manchester told council members drinking would not begin until the center is closed for the night, and socializing would be contained to a hallway by the racquetball courts and inside an adjacent multipurpose room.
Before the start of discussion, Mayor Matt Hall, a racquetball committee member, recused himself from the vote. Turning the gavel over to council president Landon Greer, he left the Council Chambers.
The mayor’s father Bucky Hall represented the Cody Racquetball Club at the meeting.
The senior Hall asked permission for tournament participants and their friends and family to consume alcoholic drinks this year during social events in the racquetball court area on Dec. 6 and 7.
He said people would eat while watching racquetball matches. But they would wait to drink alcohol until about 11 p.m. The rec center closes to the general public at 8 p.m. on Fridays and 6 on Saturdays.
“When it’s all over, we’ll go to the local watering hole,” Bucky Hall said.
A racquetball tournament has taken place each year at the Rec Center since it opened. According to Bucky Hall, the event’s gross revenue generates $1,100-$1,200 for the facility.
“All entry fees go straight to the Rec Center,” he said.
Bucky Hall went on to vouch for the racquetball players and spectators, saying he’s never seen anyone intoxicated at any tournaments he’s attended in this century.
Councilman Glenn Nielson said he’s received a few comments from concerned people.
While making it known he’s not strongly opposed, Nielson said, “I remain hesitant to see us move in that direction at all.”
In a 4-2 decision, Greer and Nielson voted no on the motion to allow alcohol during the tourney at the rec center.