News & Announcements

Changes to Chautauqua Institution's Sale of Alcohol Policy

Chautauqua Institution’s Board of Trustees has approved revisions to the policy on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages. The recommendations were presented to the Board by a working group of the Board of Trustees appointed by Board Chairman James Pardo and chaired by Board Member Judith Claire. The updated and approved policy aligns Chautauqua’s policies with those of similar and competing communities, venues and organizations. The policy also contains controls to honor the mission of Chautauqua Institution and to maintain the signature, family-friendly environment and experience for which the Institution is known.

The revised policy enables businesses on the Chautauqua Institution grounds with required New York State Liquor Authority license and Chautauqua Institution temporary revocable license to sell spirits in addition to beer and wine between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight (Sundays noon to midnight). During the summer Chautauqua season these businesses must also offer substantial food service for at least two meals per day, including dinner, for not less than six days per week. Permission for beer and wine sales by licensed establishments at Chautauqua was enabled by policy in 2009.

The policy revisions also enable spirits, wine and beer to be sold via a temporary license for an event occurring on Chautauqua Institution property or in a Chautauqua Institution facility that has been approved by the President of Chautauqua Institution. The policy requires the President, when reviewing proposals, to consider the best interest of the Institution, including the Institution’s commitment to providing a first-class experience for all residents, patrons and guests.

All provisions in the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages Policy include sales at the Chautauqua Golf Club.

“The revisions proposed by the working group and approved unanimously by the Board reflect our continuing commitment to the mission of Chautauqua, while also representing our focus on being responsive to and anticipating the expectations of current and prospective Chautauquans and Chautauqua Institution-located businesses,” Board Chairman James Pardo said. “Through the well-focused lens of our working group, the Board realized it could both adjust our policy and protect and embrace the cultural assets and attributes that make Chautauqua unique,” he said.

According to Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill, the new policy does four important things: 1) It enables licensed businesses to sell spirits in addition to wine and beer; 2) It empowers the president of Chautauqua Institution to approve requests for temporary service permits, such as the permits necessary for the sale of wine and beer at the 2017 Chautauqua Food Festival; 3) It clarifies the food service requirements for restaurants that wish to sell beer, wine and spirits; and 4) It extends the hours of service at licensed establishments by two hours (from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.).

Hill added that he will consider the entire community’s interests when reviewing temporary license applications.

“We see these adjustments as adding flexibility for businesses on the grounds to respond to the needs and expectations of today’s visitors and patrons of Chautauqua,” Hill said. “As with any policy change, we will monitor the impact and propose any adjustments necessary to ensure satisfaction and alignment of outcomes with our mission and vision.”