ABC Board seeks variance for expansion
by Anna Oakes
The proposed project consists of a warehouse addition, interior office renovations, a showroom space addition, new accessible toilets, additional parking and improvements to exits and loading zones, according to a March 7 letter from architect Randy Jones to the Boone Planning & Inspections Department.
"(The ABC Board) is hoping that the additions and renovations will help them grow into the next 10 to 15 years at the site," Jones said in the letter.
"The North Carolina State ABC Board each year continues to want each individual store to provide sales area space for new product and especially new product manufactured in North Carolina," Jones said. "Without these proposed additions and renovations, the ABC Board will have to look at possible new store sites in two to three years or sooner to keep up with the market."
The Boone ABC store continues to experience sales growth, with a 6.1 percent year-over-year increase in gross sales last fiscal year. Its profit margin that year was nearly 13 percent, one of the highest in the state.
The Boone store's most recent renovation came in 2006 with an 875-square-foot addition to the sales area.
"The ABC Board and I feel that this proposed project will probably max out this site," Jones said about the current expansion proposal.
In August 2008, Boone voters approved liquor-by-the-drink in a referendum, allowing mixed drinks to be sold at restaurants and hotels in town.
In fiscal year 2011-12, mixed beverage sales accounted for 17.8 percent of the Boone ABC store's business.
After costs and state taxes, revenues from ABC sales are distributed to local governments, law enforcement and alcohol education programs. In 2012, the Boone ABC board distributed $25,116 to law enforcement, $60,279 for alcohol education and $547,462 to the town of Boone.