Talon News - Good Local News

By Lisa Bailey


Will Sunday liquor be served at the Aztec Golf Course ?


Chris Duthie

Aztec Municipal Golf Course's manager, and Ruby's of the Valley proprietor, Randy Hodge, was recently surprised when he received his liquor license from the New Mexico Alcohol and Gaming Department stamped for Sunday sales!

He did not think much about it at the time, suspecting that "maybe there was something new with the laws."

Granted, he believes that offering Sunday liquor sales by the drink would be beneficial to the establishment, and he still hopes that will come to pass. However, the license stamped "Sunday Sales" was a mistake.

Other areas in the state have approved Sunday "Liquor Sales by the Drink" which allow establishments to offer alcohol drinks regardless of the day. In Aztec's case it would benefit the golf course and Randy Hodge's home grown businesses, Ruby's of the golf course and Rubia's of downtown Aztec.

Assistant County Manager Mike Stark and Randy are still pursuing Sunday liquor sales by the drink. They hope that the three entities currently unable to offer Sunday sales, (unincorporated) San Juan County, Bloomfield and Aztec, can petition the Secretary of State as a whole. This process would not require voter petition signatures and would make it possible for the matter to be voted on in a general election. If passed, the next step would be to include it on each of the individual jurisdiction's local elections. It is a process.

If passed it would widen opportunities for the Aztec Municipal Golf Course as a venue and backdrop for events. The success of the golf course is crucial in future plans for further development of the surrounding land. There has been discussion about the possibility of one day adding RV pads providing a place for travelers to stop for golf and stay overnight. There is even hope that eventually some of it could be developed as a residential area.

Randy is not discouraged about the waiting and speculation. He feels like he is at the helm of an undiscovered treasure in Aztec, and for all of San Juan County. In a region that is essentially a desert, where landscaping often includes rock, winding one's way to the Aztec Municipal Golf Course reveals a surprising oasis. Visitors enjoy the sunsets on the outdoor patio overlooking the rolling green hills and mature trees. Not a house in sight and nothing but green- very relaxing. Add a beverage of your choice and something off the menu if you are hungry and you can call it a date.

The golf course has a long history, built in 1956 and operated as a nine hole course. Randy's background includes careers as a golf professional and golf course superintendant. He learned the restaurant business from a successful restaurant owner and operator while living in Texas. In spite of the confusion over Sunday liquor sales, the course is currently the only private entity in Aztec with a full liquor license, and offers specialty drinks in addition to beer and wine.

Randy aims for the course to meet its full potential, as Aztec's newest recreation and events facility. It welcomes walkers on one of two routes. In addition to the beauty of the greens and the large outdoor covered deck there is an indoor space that has a capacity for approximately 60-80 people. If making use of the indoor and outdoor space, there is a combined capacity of about 200. These unique amenities make this the perfect place to accommodate and/or host weddings, reunions, private parties, trainings, special events, fundraisers, corporate outings, local tournaments and more.


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