If you ever thought alcohol was hard to get in Utah, imagine being at the Gold Label Liquor Company the night before Prohibition started.
This is Bill Redeker with your weekly Park City History Bit.
The Gold Label Liquor Company held its grand opening in 1914 at 591 Main Street to great fanfare and for three years, business seemed to be going well. On August 1st, 1917, however, Utah became the 24th of 48 states to join Prohibition and outlaw alcoholic beverages.
As midnight of the last ‘wet’ day approached, all of Park City’s saloons would close. The Park Record newspaper described the “wild scene” on Main Street: Citizens desperate for one last drink roamed the streets, buying up every last drop of alcohol they could get their hands on.
Chaos rampaged as one-by-one, the saloons ran out of liquor and closed their doors, until only the Gold Label remained open. In the last two hours before midnight, the Gold Label bartenders struggled to manage the crowd that rushed to their doors looking for that last swig.
Those who weren’t waited on helped themselves. But when the bell tolled at midnight, even the Gold Label had to lock their doors. Within a month, the Gold Label renovated their space into club rooms, and sold soft drinks, cigars, cigarettes, and candies for the next 10 years.
This Park City History Bit is brought to you by the Park City Museum, and their newest exhibit, “Miners to Moguls: 50 Years of Park City Skiing”, and is sponsored by Julie Hopkins of Keller Williams Real Estate.