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  1. Mari S

    Did I miss something here? Small stores can’t sell liquor now, so I’m not sure I understand what “mom and pops” lose under this scenario. If anything, the state liquor stores compete favorably in the wine sales game — with them gone, real business people (not government pretend business people) can begin to set prices without an unfair government competitor.

    Furthermore, I read the initiative. The current state-run liquor store locations can be taken over by private owners and do not have to meet the square foot requirement. So, an entrepreneur wanting to set up a specialty alcohol store with high-end wine, spirits, and beer, will have opportunities to do so. Not many people have talked about it, so I was surprised to learn about it, but it’s in the initiative and it’s one of the reasons that I’m voting yes.

    1. Tiffany

      It is true: Small wine & beer stores can’t sell liquor now. However, with the approval of I-1183 these businesses won’t be able to branch into liquors, which are already requested by their customers. Why not? Simply due to restrictions on the square footage of their retail establishments (Page 2, I-1183).

      It is true: The current state-run stores “will be sold by auction to the public” by June 1, 2013, and the new business owner may “apply for a liquor license” (Page 4, I-1183). However, a small business owner wanting to open a liquor boutique shop, not purchase an existing state store, is not given the option to do so under I-1183. If approved, there will be little-to-no entrepreneurial opportunities for boutique liquor stores — good-bye liquor boutique shops, hello corporate liquor!

  2. Devon

    I’m confused, when did 99 Bottles want to get into liquor as a matter of fact, when did any beer or wine store want to sell liquor? To be honest if i want to get liquor i’ll go to a liquor store.

    1. Tiffany

      I’d like to have the opportunity to carry brewery line-ups, which include distilled spirits. I-1183 shoots down the possibility of that ever happening.

      But I’m also opposed to I-1183 due to the detrimental affects of removing the protections of the three-tier system (page 40, I-1183). The three-tier system places all alcohol retailers on an equal playing field; the removal of it will cause a lot of fallout. We will see brands disappear and some fail entirely. Some say “survival of the fittest.” I have some agreement with this statement, but I also know that we will never have the negotiating power or the credit line of a corporation.

      Going to a liquor store for liquor… If I-1183 passes, the 170 some contract liquor stores (privately owned, state regulated) will be able to continue. Over 300 state-owned stores will be sold at auction; some may continue to sell liquor, others may be turned into other businesses. Likely you’ll find yourself picking up liquor at a grocery store, taking time to discover which stores carry the brands you prefer — or choosing their store brands such as “Albertson’s Vodka.” In time, we’ll have more corporations showing up to sell liquor, such as BevMo. If big liquor/wine/beer retailers locate too near to local beer & wine retailers, shops like ours will likely be forced to close.

      We shall see how it all pans out: Survival of the fittest? Survival of the biggest?

      I’m not against privatization of liquor. I’m against how I-1183 goes about it. The wording is not friendly toward small business.

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