Sunday liquor sales come to Evergreen

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By AJ Vicens

Several Evergreen liquor store owners and managers said that July 6 — the first Sunday they were allowed to sell alcohol in decades — was a good day, but said they need more time to see if the change will increase profits.

“I would say I was favorably impressed with the very first Sunday, and there was no real marketing,” said Edward Skaff, president of Evergreen Liquors. “Most of the people were very happy that we were open on Sunday.”

“It was almost exactly to the dollar what I thought we would do,” said Bill Hancock, owner of Elk Meadow Liquors. He said he took into consideration that it was a holiday weekend and that most people would be done with their festivities by Saturday. He “didn’t think (Sunday) would be a big day for sales.”

But, Hancock said, “it was a good beginning, but in another way it takes away from Saturday sales. It’s more just a customer service thing for us to be here, but eventually there will be some big days.”

“It was fantastic,” said Bernie van de Boogaard, owner of the Ponderosa Market. “It way exceeded my expectations.” He said business was steady all day long, but he was amazed at how many people didn’t realize they could now buy liquor on Sundays.

July 6 was the first Sunday that Colorado liquor stores have been open since before Prohibition. Gov. Bill Ritter signed a bill in April repealing the state’s blue law, joining 34 other states with Sunday liquor sales.

The people charged with running the stores weren’t necessarily in favor of changing the law.

“If every day was like (July 6), it would probably be a break-even deal,” Hancock said. “Eventually it will be worth it. I was never expecting it to be a big deal.”

Hancock said he was not in favor of changing the law, but now that it has been changed, “we owe it to the customer to be here. It’s part of retail; it’s just what you do.”

“I was not in favor because six days a week is enough,” Skaff said. “Now it’s back to seven, the way it used to be.” Skaff said that Evergreen Liquors formerly was a drugstore open every day of the week for years.

“As far as electricity goes, the coolers are running all the time anyway, and rent is the same, but wages will go up a little bit, but maybe I could cut down on staff on Sundays. It’s going to pay off in the long run profit wise, even though we weren’t in favor of it.”

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.