TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBREW/WYOU) – Plans continue moving forward for a massive entertainment destination called Pocono Springs. But, there’s one major hurdle to overcome. The developers don’t have enough liquor licenses. 

In addition to a Ripley’s Aquarium and themed restaurants, developers have teased to other big attractions in the works. But, there aren’t enough liquor licenses available in Monroe County. 

“So either we want a half-billion-dollar development, or we don’t. If we want to encourage them to move forward, they need those liquor licenses,” explains Monroe County, State Representative Jack Rader.

Rader introduced legislation that would allow idle liquor licenses to be transferred from county to county. He says this would solve the current imbalance of licenses across Pennsylvania. 

He explains, “there are a lot of counties in the state where they have too many licenses and those licenses aren’t being used.”

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board would be authorized to issue up to 75 licenses to tourism development projects, like Pocono Springs.

“I don’t know how much they’ll need, but it’s a significant number,” Rader adds. 

Rader says dead licenses don’t generate revenue. This measure would change that.

He remarks, “it doesn’t hurt the existing county where it comes from because those licenses aren’t being used now, and it will add value to those remaining licenses in those counties.”

The applicant would pay a $1 million dollar fee plus $65,000 dollars per liquor license.

The legislation passed in the House of Representatives. Next, it will be considered in the Senate.