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State nets nearly $6 million in second auction of 18 state liquor stores

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on May 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
May 25, 2012 4:13 pm

A second auction of the rights to apply for a liquor sales license at 18 state-run liquor stores has yielded the state about $1.3 million more than the first auction.

The state put the rights to apply for a license for those stores on the auction block again because in the first auction of all of the state’s stores, 18 winning bidders backed out on their bids. The state had earned some $25 million in the first auction excluding the stores where bidders reneged.

The state is selling the rights to its stores because Initiative 1183 last fall required the state to exit the liquor business. Private business can begin selling liquor June 1 in Washington.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board re-auction Thursday yielded a total of $5.6 million. Additional fees will raise that total to $5.9 million, the state said.

Fourteen bidders won the rights for the 18 stores.

“These bidders are here because they want to be part of what has been a very profitable business for the state,” said WSLCB Director of Business Enterprise Pat McLaughlin.

All bidders in the second auction were required to post a $10,000 bid deposit to participate.

Bidders in the first auction were only required to post $1,000.

Successful bidders earned the exclusive right to apply for a liquor license at the current location within its current footprint. All state store properties are below the 10,000-square- foot threshold established by the Initiative 1183.

Successful bidders will need to secure a lease with the property landlord. If they are unable to secure a lease, they may re-sell their right or request an alternative location within a one-mile radius of the existing location, the state said.

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