Washington Liquor Prices Up 17% Over Last Year

Aug 14, 2012
Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington liquor prices were 17 percent higher on average in June, compared to the same month a year ago. The state Department of Revenue says sales declined in the first month private retailers could sell spirits in Washington. The drop is partially a result of bars and restaurants stocking their shelves in May.

The shift to private liquor sales in Washington is affecting some 1,200 state employees. But they’re not all out of a job. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins checked in on how workers at one former state liquor store are doing under new system.

Washington Hands Off Liquor Sales To Private Sector

Jun 1, 2012
Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Washington is witnessing a major shift in a multi-million dollar business. Starting Friday, hard liquor will be right there on the shelf at supermarkets, big box stores and privately-run liquor shops. It’s Day One of a new voter-passed law that takes Washington liquor sales out of the hands of the state.

Oregon lawmakers may consider a similar proposal next year and it could affect liquor sales along Idaho’s north-western border. We sent correspondent Jessica Robinson out to see how a government-run industry goes private.

Washington State Sells Off Final 18 Liquor Stores

May 25, 2012

Earlier this month the State auctioned off the rights to sell liquor in their current stores. 167 licenses were sold, but 18 buyers fell through. Bidders either couldn’t come up with all the money, or struggled to work out lease conditions for the retail space. Thursday, a live auction sold the remaining 18 stores. Lesley McClurg reports.

Photo Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Washington restaurateurs are preparing for a new option that begins March first: They’ll be able to buy liquor directly from distilleries and out-of-state distributors. It’s one part of the new roll out of Initiative 1183, passed by voters in November. As correspondent Anna King reports, Some restaurants are waiting to see how the new marketplace shapes up, others are aggressively hunting down deals.