Granby Downtown Business Association – Granby does not need another liquor store
Thanks for the opportunity to respond to the editorial that appeared in the Sky-Hi Daily News Friday. While we disagree with the editorial, we do agree with its headline: “Liquor decision will help define Granby.”
It may define Granby as one of the most liquor-store-saturated towns in all of Colorado. The numbers illuminate this point. Interestingly enough, the paper’s editorial does not once raise the issue of local need and the saturation of liquor stores in Granby.
Granby already exceeds the state average for number of liquor stores for population in the state. Currently, incorporated Granby has one liquor store for every 1001 residents. For the 30 towns the size of Granby (1500-3000), that ratio puts Granby at 11th place in the state. The average across the state is one liquor store for every 1338 residents. Add one more liquor store in the Granby town limits and the ratio for Granby goes to one store for every 667 residents. That’s double the average state ratio. It also puts Granby in fourth place in all of Colorado for the 30 towns of similar size – right on the heels of third place Kremmling. (Go to http://www.savegranby.com to see the ratio-to-population charts.)
Clearly, the needs of the neighborhood (incorporated Granby) are being met right now. The numbers say it and the 777 people who signed our petitions from both in and out of Granby say it. Granby doesn’t need another liquor store. That’s the sole legal basis for the board’s decision Tuesday night.
We also feel that people should be aware of several facts about the proposed new store. It would be owned by a Denver-based real estate agent. Profits, presumably, would go back to Denver. We need to ask: Is this store going to be as generous with local causes and fundraisers as our locally owned liquor stores that have a combined 59 years of local ownership between them? Think about it.
Make no mistake about it. A new liquor store out at the City Market complex will hurt downtown Granby. The other businesses with the new liquor store, such as the McDonald’s, will also hurt downtown Granby. The Downtown Granby Business Association wants to raise awareness about this fact and to compete in a way that helps downtown Granby.
It’s clear that the mantra of convenience trumps all in the eyes of the editorialist. We agree that a liquor store there would be convenient until liquor stores in town and the Inn at SilverCreek close or reduce service and people are stuck with only one or two options for liquor in all of the Granby area. This would reduce convenience and competition.
There’s no reason not to believe this new liquor will merely split the pie of existing liquor sales. There’s no sound evidence that suggests more people will shop for booze in Granby just because there’s another liquor store. None. Besides, those mysterious “thousands” of people on Red Dirt Hill and environs already have a very convenient liquor store choice right there in Tabernash, already more “convenient” than Granby.
With the above in mind, the town of Granby probably will realize very little of an increase in tax revenues. In fact, we feel it would just be trading the sources of existing sales tax revenue at the expense of downtown.
The editorial dismisses fears that a liquor store next to a McDonald’s is a problem. We disagree. It will be much easier for thirsty teens to convince some youngish yet of-age, out-of-town visitor to buy a six-pack for them if it’s at the anonymous McDonald’s shopping center than at a local liquor store where people are known. Do we really want to make it that easy?
Is it really possible that turning down a liquor license will spread the word that Granby isn’t receptive to new business and investors should fear to tread? This is highly unlikely. Fraser turned down a liquor license three years ago and in the liquor store’s proposed location new businesses have sprouted, and they are doing fine, thank you. Fraser is not seen as the pariah of business.
The truth is simple. Granby already has enough liquor stores. Adding another would over saturate the market, putting Granby at 4th in the state of similar-sized towns. A new liquor store there would also hurt downtown and expose our youth to a higher risk of alcohol abuse.
There’s only one responsible decision Tuesday night. It will, indeed, define Granby.
– The Granby Downtown Business Association is a coalition of downtown Granby businesses who want to encourage a diverse economic climate in all of Granby. It encourages businesses that do not compete directly with existing businesses in the downtown sector.
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