Washington Liquor Sales Go Private Today


Washington state retailers have begun stocking their shelves with bottles of booze, as businesses such as Costco, Safeway and Fred Meyer will sell liquor for the first time.

More than 1,600 retails stores had applied for the new spirits license, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, with the state approving more than 1,000. All 331 Washington state-run liquor stores went dark as of last night.

Some speculate that prices will jump today above the historic cost for bottles of bourbon, tequila and whiskey, and that Washington residents might look to border states for a cheaper price on booze.

Nowhere is that more apparent than the border city of Coeur d'Alene, where reports of sales across the border have increased up until today. As Washington state liquor stores ran dry in anticipation of the transition to private sales, the typically cheaper prices at Idaho's state-run liquor stores may have appealed to cross-border neighbors.

One man keeping an eye on those prices is Jeffrey Anderson, director at the Idaho State Liquor Division. He told Citydesk that he's pretty sure prices will rise across the border come Friday.

"The supermarkets are going to get the biggest sellers and stock those," said Anderson. "They're not going to have every variety on the shelves."