Remember back in April when the state announced the winners of its liquor store auction? Prompted by I-1183, the voter-approved initiative from last year that booted the state out of the booze-slinging business, the Washington State Liquor Control Board launched an online auction designed to unload 167 state liquor stores. Thing is, after the winners were crowned, not everyone paid up ...
Not surprisingly, considering the selling of liquor store rights has already brought in $25.9 million according to multiple reports, the Liquor Control Board is in full used-car salesman mode.
According to the Liquor Control Board website:
If you are looking for an incredible business opportunity, you are in the right spot. For 78 years, the LCB has managed a very profitable liquor retailing business that has grown to nearly $889 million in annual gross sales with a healthy profit of 14 percent on net sales. Now you have the opportunity to start a business in your local community or even establish a chain of stores across the entire state.
Where are these still unclaimed liquor stores, you might ask? Locations range from Enumclaw to Kennewick, and from Ocean Shores to Bellingham.
Here's a look at the complete list:
Store 002 - Seattle-2nd & Seneca
Store 093 - Kenmore Store 003 - Tacoma-Central
Store 113 - Seattle-Wallingford
Store 006 - Marysville
Store 122 - Tacoma-72nd & Pacific
Store 032 - Enumclaw
Store 132 - Lakewood-Oakbrook Plaza
Store 042 - Seattle-Broadway
Store 140 - Bellingham
Store 044 - Spokane-West Sprague
Store 151 - Ocean Shores
Store 066 - Kent-Panther Lake
Store 159 - Kennewick-Columbia Summit
Store 082 - Kent-Midway Crossing
Store 168 - Vancouver
Store 085 - Bellevue-Kelsey Crossroads
Store 179 - North Bend
Those with a keen eye will notice that Store 122 - in Tacoma on Pacific and 72nd - is included on that list. As you may recall, this particular liquor-slinging location, a well-known bastion for T-Town hard drinkers, received the highest bid during the state's first liquor-store auction, garnering a whopping total of $750,000 ... which was never paid.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering, this is serious business. As the Liquor Control Board notes of the in-person auction:
A bid deposit of $10,000 via Cashier's Check payable to the Washington State Liquor Control Board will be required prior to any bidder authorization being issued. These checks will be collected upon registration at the live event. Only those who submit a bid deposit will be allowed in the bidding area. A winning bidder who fails to remit payment in full as described below shall forfeit their bid deposit. An unsuccessful bidder shall receive their bid deposit back at the end of the auction.
As a primer for the liquor store auction part deux later this month, take a look at "Seven Ingenious Ways to Revolutionize the Way We Buy Booze at Liquor Stores."