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Zeeland Considers Alcohol Sales

5:39 PM, Feb 6, 2006   |    comments
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Zeeland - It's a battle that's taken place before, in one of West Michigan's oldest communities - whether to sell alcohol. Monday night Zeeland officials and the public will debate whether the community should stay dry, or allow restaurants and stores to offer beer, wine and liquor. For nearly 100 years now people have not been able to buy alcohol in the city. Some residents like that and say it makes the town quaint. However, others say it's time for Zeeland to get into the 21st century. In 1912, 8 years before Prohibition, Zeeland went dry and has not sold a drop of alcohol since, but now it's a hard law for many to swallow. Last spring Ryan Snyder decided to move his Vitale's Pizza Place into this much bigger location. He says that is when he realized he was missing a key ingredient to potential business, "It's what people are asking for, at least my customers, that's what they're asking for." Snyder also thinks allowing alcohol sales will keep customers in the city, but not every restaurant owner agrees. For nearly 20 years Lyle Van Klombenberg has owned the community restaurant. He has seen business drop 25% in the last few, but does not think alcohol is the answer to his problems, "they're calling it an economic tool, I've never heard booze or whiskey called an economic tool." However, many people don't understand the ban on alcohol, since you can simply drive down the street to Holland and get alcohol here at a restaurant or liquor store." Tonya Rogers lives in Zeeland, "instead of spending their money in Holland or Grandville, they could be spending it in Zeeland." While that is a popular opinion, there are other people in Zeeland who like the city the way it is, and hope to preserve its charming atmosphere. Lindsey Vanderzwahe is one of them, "maybe Zeeland is a cleaner town because there aren't party stores and bars all over." We will have a news crew at tonight's meeting and we'll have much more tonight on WZZM 13 News at 11.

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