Liquor sales up over holidays

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 3, 2005

New Year’s may be considered a traditional time for liquor sales to increase, but according to local liquor store owner Mike Patel, nothing beats Christmas.

“Christmas is the biggest for us,” he said.

Every year, law enforcement officials expect people to drink during the New Year holiday weekend.

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While it means the city and state put extra officers on patrol, for Patel, it means that more clerks will be needed to work the store.

Patel said he wasn’t sure what his sales will look like, but he expects they’ll show a sharp rise over the weekend.

“We did good over this weekend,” Patel said. “I think we did better than last year.”

When Patel does well, the city does well.

Patel’s shop is located outside the city limits, so he only has to pay 2 percent in liquor taxes. Shops located inside the city limits, like Cheers Package Store, pays 4 percent.

Patel said he doesn’t offer specials during the New Year’s weekend, he doesn’t have to.

“We try to keep it low, we don’t go up and down,” he said.

For the state, liquor sales are a big boon too.

In the 2001-2002 fiscal year, the ABC Board reported revenues of $161,379,571.

Sales of alcohol and tobacco totaled $273,895,497.

In the 2001-2002 fiscal year, ABC sales accounted for $11,205,000 in the state’s General Fund. In 200-2001, ABC accounted for $10,205,000.

In the ABC Board’s statement from Administrator Emory Folmar, the board stated it was responsible for distributing millions all across the state from liquor sales.

“We distributed more than $161 million to state and local governments while continuing our primary mandate of regulation, enforcement and education of alcohol issues,” Folmar stated in the release.

The ABC Board controls all liquor sales in the state. They distribute alcohol to retailers like Johnny’s and also operate their own retail stores. For more information, go online to