For liquor stores in Western North Carolina, the combination of Christmas and the New Year makes for the busiest time of the year. But with 1,800 different types of products to choose from — from the old standbys like Jim Beam to the novelty high-end liquors gift wrapped and paired with tumblers — selecting the right booze to stock their limited shelf space can be a science in itself.
A Jackson County resident has taken it upon himself to show county decision-makers that a Cashiers ABC store is a must.
Maggie Valley’s ABC Board has put any plans to close one of its two liquor stores on the backburner for now.
“It is doing better than we thought it was initially,” said Colin Edwards, an ABC Board member.
Haywood County Schools will lose about $30,000 in yearly revenue now that the Waynesville ABC Board has decided build a second liquor store.
The town shares a cut of profits from liquor sales with the county and law enforcement. Haywood County in turn shares its cut of ABC profits with school system.
Construction on a new ABC store in Waynesville could begin as early as January at the cost of $1.3 million, including the land.
Franklin’s plans to buy a new ABC storefront were dashed this week after the town was denied a bank loan.
The town makes ample profits on its liquor store, with more than enough to cover the monthly mortgage payments of a new building. But the bank ultimately saw this revenue stream as too volatile to commit to a long-term 20 year loan.
A split decision by Franklin aldermen to build a new $1.25 million ABC store at the site of a Super Walmart at the edge of town drew criticism and pleas this week that the plan be reconsidered.
“We cannot afford what you are proposing,” said Ron Winecoff, an insurance agent in Franklin, at a Monday meeting. “It is not the Taj Mahal, and we do not have to market it that way. It is another store, plain and simple.”
Waynesville’s ABC Board has not yet officially decided to build a second liquor store near the new Super Walmart, but the project will get a green light if the price is right, according to the board’s chair.
The board is still negotiating prices for a piece of property located behind Hardee’s along the entrance drive to Super Walmart off South Main Street. The decision to open the second store hinges on price negotiations currently playing out between the ABC board and the owner of the parcel.
On the heels of a vote that now allows alcoholic beverages to be sold countywide, Jackson County is considering opening two new ABC stores: one in Cashiers and the other along the highway leading to Cherokee in the Qualla community.
County commissioners indicated at a meeting this week they’d likely form a committee to determine whether opening either of the ABC stores was financially feasible.
After a month of controversy surrounding the granting of alcohol permits, Sylva and Jackson County leaders have made it their goal to work amicably together and compromise when discussing how the county will handle its ABC operations in the future.
“We really want to work with them (Sylva). We don’t want it to be an adversarial thing,” said Jack Debnam, chair to the Board of Commissioners.