Cheers! Liquor bosses dig Park City site
There is a sober pile of dirt fenced off in the parking lot of the Snowcreek Shopping Center where Dan’s Foods is currently located in Park City, but it will soon become the largest liquor store in Utah.
With three other liquor stores already in Park City, along with a host of bars and convenience stores, many might wonder if more booze is really what the city needs. Officials say "yes."
"We’ve been looking in Park City for a new store location for nearly three years and that spot just became available to us," said Dennis Kellen of the Utah Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. "We wanted the store to be our flagship store and to be in an area not only convenient to locals but also with the tourists."
He also said the store currently open on Main Street will be unaffected, while the Prospector and Kimball Junction stores will change slightly.
"The new store is going to be the retail walk-in liquor store and then we’ll convert the Prospector store over to a licensee store where private bars and restaurants can purchase," Kellen said. "We’re also going to expand the Kimball Junction store by about 3,000 square feet."
The state owns the 15,000-square-foot lot on which the new 12,000-square-foot store is being built.
Jill Packham, property manager of the Snowcreek Shopping Center, said they want the new store to be up and running by the time the ski season opens near the start of December, if not before. She also said the new store will help disseminate a more liberal image of Utah.
"The city wanted a user-friendly place to buy liquor," she said, "and they wanted to dispel the perception that it’s hard to buy alcohol in Utah. "The other tenets have been very enthusiastic as well. They feel it will drive in more traffic, which is good for everybody. I haven’t heard anything negative from anyone."
Sara Henry, who owns Art of Wine located in the shopping center, couldn’t be happier about the placement of the new store.
"I am so excited about it," Henry said. "It’s huge. It’s probably the single biggest thing that could’ve happened to my store."
Henry will change her hours to mirror that of the new store, and although she does not and will not sell alcohol, will be increasing her selection of gourmet cheeses, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, gourmet olives, those little onions to put in drinks and anything else relating to wine and liquor.
"I am also hoping to open a little wine educational bar where you can take mini-classes that would consist of sampling wines based on whatever the theme is for the day," she said. "Then, if you like what you tasted, you can run next door and buy the bottle. With everyone in the shopping center it’s going to make it one-stop-shopping. I can’t think of another liquor store that makes it so convenient to do all your shopping all at once."
Henry believes the DABC chose Park City for the state’s flagship store due to the abundance of imbibers in the county, and their "exceptional taste."
"First off, I believe that Park City consumes more wine and spirits than any other part of Utah, and a lot of that I’m sure has to do with the tourist business we have here," she said. "But it will add such an air of class about the town to be able to go into this wine and liquor store and find a selection of great wines that you currently have to drive to Salt Lake to find."
All liquor stores will be closed on Tuesday for the 4th of July holiday.
Liquor stores closing for 4th
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Sales-tax collections in Park City in July beat City Hall projections by a wide margin, providing a key data point that illustrates a nascent economic comeback of sorts from the spring business shutdowns.