Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City proposed today to reopen the recently closed Main Street Liquor store by using some of the $1.4 million recently distributed to halt the closure of nine other liquor stores. “With what money the Governor has identified to forestall closures and cuts until February, base done discussions I’ve had with the Governor’s office and colleagues in the Legislature to reopen the Main Street store,” Adams told the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission today.
The closure of the Main Street store is one McAdams says impacted local patrons who had previously been able to walk to the store, and now have to drive either to downtown or Sugarhouse stores. “Patrons of that store have expressed to me that they are not able to go to the 400 south store because of traffic and that store operating capacity,” McAdams said. “The closure of this store has had a significant impact on their ability to purchase a product that is a legal product in the state of Utah.”
McAdams estimated that by using some of the $1.4 million used to keep nine other state liquor stores from shuttering until February, it would only push up that schedule to January to also be able to keep the Main Street store open. Time enough he hopes that a consultant’s report of fiscal efficiencies in the state liquor stores would also be finished and could give the Legislature and the Governor more direction. He notes the store while in operation was very profitable having brought in $1.2 million in profit last year.
“It would really allow us to start on fresh ground with the consultant,” McAdams said. “Rather than going in a direction without knowing what the consequences are.”
Bill Davis, chair of the Ball Park Community Council also spoke in favor of the proposal noting his community having collected 3,300 petition signatures in favor of keeping the store open. “That illustrates there is widespread support from the community for keeping it open,” Davis said.
DABC Deputy Director of Operations John Freeman noted that, if needed, the store could be staffed and ready for operation in two weeks time. McAdams will still have to sell the idea on the Governor’s office but would like to see the money re-distributed within the next month, if the proposal is approved.