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Esme’s Blog: Mystic Lake & Liquor

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Craigslist ads say the bartenders will be paid $9.54 an hour plus tips. The ads also say the jobs are “contingent upon the Bureau of Indian Affairs approval to serve alcohol at Mystic Lake Casino.” If Mystic Lake does get the green light for alcohol sales, it will transform what is already a travel destination into a far more high profile and popular spot.

On a busy night, with a high profile concert act playing, Mystic Lake can attract 20,000 people. With the introduction of alcohol, there will no doubt be problems: More DWI’s, more fights and more law enforcement activity. There will also almost certainly be more growth and undoubtedly a lot more jobs, for everything from those bartenders to added security.

The likely losers will be nearby liquor stores, restaurants and bars who counted on Mystic Lake patrons stopping by if they wanted alcohol. Because a Reservation is sovereign land, Mystic Lake could conceivably offer onsite retail liquor sales on Sundays and have bar closing times later than nearby non-reservation venues.

Liquor alone won’t transform Mystic Lake and the surrounding Prior Lake area into the Vegas strip, but it will be a game changer that has the potential to transform this entertainment destination. Having liquor at Mystic Lake’s venues will bring growth, but it will almost certainly bring growing pains.

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