Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bottoms up

Ketchum bars near top in liquor dispensary sales

Express Staff Writer

Whiskey Jacques, shown here during its 30th anniversary party last year, is one of the top purchasers of liquor from the Idaho State Liquor Dispensary. As a whole, the 10 bars in Ketchum that spent the most on liquor last year shelled out $840,332 for 45,973 bottles. Photo by Mountain Express

Ketchum apparently ain't no place for teetotalers.

A report from the Idaho State Liquor Dispensary for its last fiscal year, which ran from July 2007 through June 2008, showed that despite its relatively small size, there is plenty of booze flowing through Ketchum and Sun Valley.

In the reported liquor sales figures, which include nearly every alcoholic drink other than beer and wine, the Sun Valley Lodge and two Ketchum establishments ranked in the top 10 in terms of dollars spent at the dispensary by bars across the state.

The Lodge ranked third overall, purchasing 15,815 bottles for $308,040. According to Sun Valley Co. Director of Marketing Jack Sibbach, this figure includes purchases for all resort establishments, including the Duchin Room, Trail Creek Cabin, the River Run Lodge and assorted banquet facilities.

Ketchum Main Street stalwarts, the Casino Club and Whiskey Jacques, came in at the eight and 10 spots, respectively.

The Casino spent $194,990 on 11,920 bottles over the course of the year, representing approximately 33 bottles of hard alcohol per night.

Whiskey Jacques stocked up with a mere 8,541 bottles purchased for $169,619.

Also within the top 20 was the Pioneer Saloon, which ranked 17th with 7,319 bottles purchased for $137,738.

Glenn Harbig, chief financial officer of the dispensary, said in an interview that the dispensary only records the amount it sells, not the revenue from the bar sales or the number of bottles the bars actually go through during the year.

Rounding out the top 10 liquor purchasers in Ketchum are the Sawtooth Club, Cavallino, the Cellar Pub, the Roosevelt Tavern, Michel's Christiania, Thunder Spring and the now-defunct Dirty Little Roddy's.

In total, the 10 Ketchum drinking establishments spent $840,332 on 45,973 bottles during the dispensary's 2008 fiscal year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's figures for 2006, Ketchum has a population of 3,226, meaning that per capita consumption of 18 bottles per year. Of course this doesn't take into account the vast increases of tourists during peak seasons.

In comparison to the previous fiscal year, the amount purchased by these 10 establishments decreased by 4.3 percent and the number of bottles by 3.4 percent.

In this group, large changes were seen with the Sawtooth Club, which increased its spending by 9.5 percent this past year, and Cavallino, which decreased its liquor expenditures by approximately 35 percent.

According to the dispensary's Harbig, bar sales across the state grew by 3.9 percent from 2007 to 2008.

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