I returned from the land where beer flows like water to learn that, despite some level headed legislators’ attempts, the recent cuts to the DABC budget have not been reversed. As a result, the first of nine state liquor store locations will close tonight permanently. Its seven employees will now be out of work and go on unemployment.
The nine stores closing generate just over $10 million in profits each year. That’s profits…not revenue. The store just down the street from me is one of the stores that will close its doors (with annual sales of nearly $4 million). The lease on the building runs through 2012, yet legislators will close the location and put more than six people out of work while continuing to pay for the empty store. I suppose this is the new state GOP approach to stimulating the local economy and job market.
The closest store for the entire Avenues neighborhood will now be more than 3 miles away at the 400 South location. This location has a total of 11 parking spots and is located on a busy corner. There are often lines at this location on weekends and holidays, and this is before the closure of the Avenues and South Salt Lake locations.
Senator Ben McAdams and Salt Lake City’s mayor have both petitioned the governor to find a way to keep these locations open, as closing profitable businesses just doesn’t make sense. McAdam’s commented, “The state has a monopoly on the sale of these products, but with that goes an obligation to maintain an adequate level of services.”
Here’s the problem, Senator. The majority of those in the Legislature (namely those with R after their names) are of a certain persuasion and believe we’re sinning by patronizing the state liquor stores. We don’t deserve any level of customer service when making our purchases because we shouldn’t be making them in the first place.
As with anything having to do with our esteemed legislators, there is a strong stench of hypocrisy. We may be sinning when we buy that bottle of rum, wine or full strength beer, but by doing so we’re paying for the education of the excessive bounty of their loins to the tune of nearly $70 million each year.