Oregon adjusts to neighboring privatized liquor sales

Oregon adjusts to neighboring privatized liquor sales

With Washington entering free-market liquor sales June 1, Oregon liquor officials are hoping high-end and locally-distilled products will keep state sales competitive.

Consider this not-so-sobering prospect: Within two months, the city of Vancouver -- a few minutes from Portland -- will go from four liquor stores to more than 50 outlets where people can buy their vodka, scotch and gin, most of them national-chain grocery and drug stores. Statewide, the number of liquor outlets is expected to explode from 328 to more than a thousand, including such national giants as BevMo!, which are essentially supermarkets packed with liquor, beer and wine.
Oregon liquor retailers are understandably nervous about what the future holds in a business where it's already tough to make a decent living. Jim Conklin, who runs the Ashland Liquor Store, chafes at the billboards directing Oregon drivers to All Star Liquors across the border, and at the stories his customers tell him of the deals they get there.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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