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Park City tops all Utah liquor stores for 2021 sales

Park City held the top spot in 2021 for liquor sales in Utah.

Not only did the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control rake in over $184 million dollars in funds for public safety, education, and school lunch programs last year, but Park City was also the top location in the state for liquor sales.

If there’s one data point people can take away from 2021 that doesn’t have to do with COVID-19 case rates or vaccinations, it’s that Parkites like their liquor – in fact, more than anywhere else in the state.

The Park City area was the highest-grossing region in the entire state for liquor sales in FY21, according to DABC Executive Director Tiffany Clason.

“In our last fiscal year, in the store next to your studio there on Snow Creek, sold several thousand more dollars than any other store in the state," said Clason. "We do see really high performance there in your neck of the woods. Of course, there are many reasons for that, especially in this year past, where, really, I don’t think the Park City market saw a dip at all in visitorship. People were happy to come and play, even still in the pandemic, and really enjoy themselves and have a good time.”

When it comes to what people are drinking, Clason said vodka, prosecco, pinot noir, and light beer are perennial best sellers.

A lot of those sales can be attributed to the high number of tourists that come to Park City, but it turns out it’s not just Parkites that showed up at the liquor store this past year.

Clason said liquor sales generated over $517 million dollars in revenue last year, which is a new record. The tax collected on that revenue equated to over $184 million that went toward statewide programs for things like education, school lunches, and alcohol safety.

Looking ahead to 2022, Clason said the DABC is excited to continue some popular programs from this past year, including accepting digital drivers’ licenses on your phone, which was only a pilot program in a handful of stores in 2021.

“It’s been so successful that we’ve agreed to expand that pilot," she said. "It’s not ready at all of our stores statewide, but definitely expanding that program, and so far it’s been great.”

Also getting expanded in 2022 is cold beer available for purchase in-store.

“We also added, early [last] spring, refrigeration to our operations, so when we opened our new Taylorsville store, it included cold beverages, cold beer, which is something that many of our customers had wanted for, quite frankly, decades," Clason said. "We were excited to do that, and we do have a plan to continue to expand that refrigerated service in our retail operations, not only moving forward, but we also have a plan to retrofit old stores to have that feature as well.”  

Although refrigerated beer and other beverages like hard seltzers can be bought at grocery stores and gas stations throughout Utah, it’s not as strong as what you can find in a DABC store.

According to state law, beer and seltzers over 5%, along with wine and other liquors like vodka and whiskey, can only be sold at state-run liquor stores.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.