State says temporary liquor store set up for All-Star weekend was a success

Mar 7, 2023, 6:36 PM | Updated: 6:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Mountain West Cider sold some of its ciders at the temporary liquor store, which was set up inside the Salt Palace Convention Center during NBA All-Star weekend.

They said the pop-up is something they would like to see again.

“It’s a step up,” said Jeff Carleton, co-owner of Mountain West Cider.

Carleton was excited to see some of his product on the store shelves.

“It was such a wonderful opportunity to showcase our product in front of a national and maybe international crowd,” he said.

He said downtown Salt Lake City needed another liquor store for All-Star weekend.

“The only other liquor store — the original Liquor Store 1 — which is a couple blocks away is very small and cramped.”

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services calls its temporary store a success.

“A little over $43,000 in just 900 square feet of space. That is a great figure,” said Executive Director Tiffany Clason.

Factoring in operating costs, that number comes to about $20,000 in net revenue.

“I think it falls in just where we were expecting,” Clason said.

Clason said liquor stores saw more customers that weekend, but the pop-up helped ease congestion.

“We didn’t have long lines at those stores, long checkout times,” she said.

Is this temporary store something she could see the state replicating in the future?

“We do feel like we want to consider this again for another large event.”

Clason said if they do, she’d take a look at adding more than one.

“I think it would be great next time to maybe look at multiple temporary store locations in about the same footprint that we have.”

She’d also like to feature celebrity bands and Utah-made products again.

“We’re able to show that you have a balanced way to live life here — you can have fun and you can do it responsibly.”

Carleton said if and when another large, global event comes to town, the state is going to need to get creative.

“Expand places you can consume and purchase alcohol around the downtown area, and some of the venues, I think, is going to be mandatory,” he said.

Clason said they’re still debriefing on what went well and what could’ve gone better, things to take note of if the temporary liquor stores return to Utah.

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State says temporary liquor store set up for All-Star weekend was a success