Laws, Rules, and Regulations for Common Consumption Areas

Common consumption areas are designated areas where patrons 21 years old and older can drink alcoholic beverages from various liquor-licensed establishments in a common space.

Key features

Key features of Denver’s common consumption area laws, rules, and regulations include: 

  • All common consumption areas must be licensed. 

  • A common consumption area license can only be issued to a certified promotional association. 

  • Common consumption area licenses can only be issued in designated entertainment districts. 

  • Licensees who do not follow the rules can have to pay fines, or lose their license.

Watch a presentation about common consumption areas

View the presentation about common consumption areas(PDF, 572KB)


Read the laws

In 2011, the Colorado General Assembly passed a state law allowing local jurisdictions to license common consumption areas. The state Liquor Enforcement Division subsequently adopted agency rules.


Denver City Council adopted a common consumption ordinance on Nov. 12, 2019. 

On April 15, 2021, the Department of Excise and Licenses adopted final rules for common consumption areas, as well as hearing policies and procedures that apply to hearings for common consumption area licenses.


The ordinance and rules went into effect on June 1, 2021.

Community outreach

Between 2011 and 2017, the Department of Excise and Licenses studied other cities with common consumption areas. In 2018 and 2019, the Department gathered community feedback on the idea from Denver residents and businesses.

Liquor Common Consumption Work Group

In early 2020, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses formed the Liquor Common Consumption Work Group(PDF, 121KB)through an open application process(PDF, 124KB).

The purpose of the work group was to develop agency rules and hearing policies and procedures for the certification of promotional associations, the licensure of common consumption areas, and the creation of entertainment districts in Denver.