When we purchased our first home in Downtown Colorado Springs, I was not familiar with most of the items that appeared on the Settlement Statement at the closing table. Because I found the process interesting, I looked them over pretty carefully. One of the items that I was paying was a $25.00 Liquor Endorsement. When asked, even the closer was not too familiar with it, and told me it was a Reverter clause. It was not in my nature (at the time) to question something like that, so I thought nothing more about it – until years later when I started selling a lot of Downtown Colorado Springs real estate.
The founder of Colorado Springs was General William Jackson Palmer. Palmer was born in a small town on the coast of Delaware to a Quaker family. When he traveled to Colorado to bring his Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company to the West, he brought with him several friends who were also Quakers to help him establish Colorado Springs.
While setting up the area, he gave away vast amounts of land. When he gave away land for building homes in the Downtown Colorado Springs region, there was a caveat that this extreme teetotaler attached to the bequest . . . you could not manufacture, sell, or use liquor or alcoholic beverages on the premises. Subsequently (and fortunately), that has changed.
Now when you purchase an older home in the Downtown Colorado Springs area, you get an endorsement (a Right of Reverter) from the Title Company. Such a policy “insures that said restrictions have not been violated and further insures against any loss or damage as a result of any past or future violations causing a forfeiture or reversion of Title.” It is my understanding that the land was supposed to go back to the Palmer heirs should this restriction be violated, but the Reverter clause in your Title Policy guarantees that this will not happen.
According to my reliable sources, there has never been an instance where this has been enforced, but the monies are still being collected at closing. When we owned Colorado College rentals, many of the students were taking classes in making home-brewed beer. Those same students lived in the older homes near campus. Many of our friends in Downtown Colorado Springs fermented their own wine in their Victorian homes. Is that legal in a home built on a General Palmer-deeded property? If they were reported, would those houses revert to the Palmer heirs? The Liquor Endorsement assures that no one will take your home if you drink alcohol there. (Money well spent!) And what about places like Phantom Canyon that is an actual brewery, or Vintages Wine and Spirits in Downtown Colorado Springs? Sure hope that they got their Liquor Endorsement.