Park City liquor store scheduled to reopen later in March |

Park City liquor store scheduled to reopen later in March

Utah alcohol regulators have staffed the Swede Alley location

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control plans to reopen the state liquor store on Swede Alley on March 22. It has been closed since January based on a staffing shortage.​
Park Record file photo

State alcohol regulators on Wednesday said they plan to reopen the liquor store on Swede Alley later in March, more than two months after a staffing shortage forced the temporary closure.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said the reopening is scheduled for March 22 at noon. According to a statement from the department, a hiring was made for a key staff position. That person is scheduled to start on March 20 and other staffers are poised to return to the store close to the date.

The statement said the two days between the staffer’s March 20 start date and the reopening provides time for the department to schedule beer deliveries from distributors and deliveries from the state’s alcohol warehouse.

The department said the stock of beer that was in the Swede Alley store at the time of the closure was moved to the store at Snow Creek since it was perishable.

The alcohol regulators in January closed the store on a temporary basis, acknowledging a staffing shortage at the time. The department at the time said the closure would last for an unspecified period, but it appeared there was the possibility of a reopening within weeks. The department instead was unable to quickly hire enough staff to reopen.

The department in early March said it was unsure when a reopening would be scheduled since it depended on hirings.

The department’s wages in the Park City and Moab stores are higher than elsewhere in the state based on the cost of living in the two resort communities. Park City’s housing and rental markets would be difficult for a worker, though, even with the bumped-up wages in the local state liquor stores.

The Utah Legislature earlier in the month passed a bill to provide the department with more than $4 million to boost wages for liquor store employees across the state. The governor is expected to sign the bill.

The closure of the liquor store on Swede Alley occurred during a key stretch of a ski season that has outperformed economic expectations. The closure covered Presidents Day weekend and the first weeks of the traditional spring-break period. A March 22 reopening would occur during the final weeks of the ski season.

The presence of a liquor store in the Main Street core has been seen as important to the tourism industry for decades, offering a convenient location in a state many consider to have strict alcohol laws.

Correction: The scheduled opening time on March 22 was incorrect in an earlier version of this article.

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