Some Treasure Valley tavern and restaurant owners are prepared to shell out as much as $140,000 for a secondary market liquor license instead of waiting in line, as long as 16 years.
This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the City of Boise has the longest waiting list for businesses interested in obtaining a liquor license. According to the Press-Tribune, 72 businesses are currently on the list.
Based on population, Idaho state liquor laws allocate two licenses for Boise (just like every other city in the state) and an additional license for every 1,500 people. The Press-Tribune reports that 137 liquor license are currently taken in the City of Trees. Comparatively, Meridian has approximately 50 licenses, Nampa has 54 and Caldwell as 40.
Traditionally, an application and annual fee for a liquor license runs $750 in a city with a population of 3,000 or greater. But because of the long waiting list, some licenses in the City of Boise are currently being sold by individuals or businesses at $130,000-$140,000. The Press-Tribune reports that the secondary market in Canyon County has a going rate of $50,000-$90,000.
Additionally, some new businesses choose to lease a liquor license from the secondary market. The Press-Tribune reports that a current lease of a liquor license in Boise could cost $1,600 per year.