No Exception for Hotels in New Maui County Corkage Laws
The last lingering question about the new corkage rules in Maui County seems to have been put to rest. On September 13, 2012, the Maui County Liquor Control Commission met and voted against the proposal to exclude hotel and condos from the new corkage regulations.
Hotels and condos were concerned that the new law — which allows restaurants to let guests bring their own bottle of wine to the table — would lead to brides and others planning large events bringing their own cases of wine, leading to a sizable profit loss. So the hotels requested they be exempted from the corkage laws altogether.
It didn’t fly with the Commission, and the testimony at Wednesday’s meeting, according to this article in The Maui News, could be part of the reason. The executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association asked that “restaurants and hotels be treated the same,” because guests wouldn’t necessarily understand(or care one whit about) the distinction between a hotel-owned restaurant and an independently owned restaurant operating on the premises.
Well, yes. Exactly. Customers expect that restaurants at a resort have consistent policies.
Although she also asked for an exception for “one special bottle of wine” at hotel and condo restaurants, the Commission seemed eager to put the matter to rest. All those present voted against the proposal, rendering hotels and condos equal to all other restaurants on Maui. To sum up, here is what is now true about BYOB on Maui:
- As of March, 2012, all Maui restaurants are allowed to allow you to bring your own bottle of wine to your meal. The Commission does not require they do so: it is up to each restaurant to make their own policy. If restaurants want to charge a corkage fee, that is also their business.
- If you do not finish your wine, beer, or spirit during the meal, you are allowed to bring it home with you, as long as it is in its original, sealed container. This is a state law, and has been in place since 2010: the Commission has just updated their own regulations to reflect it. This is not optional. All restaurants must allow you to take your alcohol with you. Of course, what the original, sealed container for a mai tai would be is not made clear. I suspect your bottle of wine is the only real candidate.