Competition could be coming for Sunday liquor sales in Lake Park - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Competition could be coming for Sunday liquor sales in Lake Park

Lakes Liquor Lakes Liquor
Cabinets were being stained inside Lakes Liquor Wednesday Cabinets were being stained inside Lakes Liquor Wednesday
Smitty's Liquor Smitty's Liquor
Mike Rutherford Mike Rutherford
Mike Smith Mike Smith
LAKE PARK, GA (WALB) -

Sunday liquor sales around Lake Park could soon be getting competitive.

Cabinets were being stained inside Lakes Liquor just off of U.S. 41 in Lake Park Wednesday in preparation for the store's grand opening in a couple of weeks. Mike Rutherford owns the store and is hoping to be able to sell alcohol on Sundays in order to compete with the only other liquor store in the area, located just outside city limits in the county.

"Your Sunday sales is a big part of your business. That's probably gonna be 40-50% of your business," Rutherford said.

Mike Smith is the manager and co-owner of the liquor store located just outside city limits and said they've had competition before and they're not worried about being run out of business.

"We've been in business a long time and we've had other businesses come in and compete with us and then go away," Smith pointed out. "You've got grocery stores competin' and gas stations competing."

In 2013, Lake Park residents voted to allow Sunday alcohol sales at restaurants and other establishments but since there was no package store inside city limits at the time packages stores weren't included in the referendum.

"It'd be a big loss in sales, but I guess we could live with it," Rutherford said after being asked what it would mean if voters decided not to allow Sunday liquor sales at package stores within city limits. 

Despite the fact that Lakes Liquor could potentially end Smith's company's current monopoly on Sunday liquor sales in the Lake Park area, Smith said the new business might actually be a good thing. "Another business will create jobs and anything to grow the city or the area of Lake Park is good for everybody involved," said Smith.

Lake Park voters will decide whether to allow Sunday liquor sales at Lakes Liquor and any other future package store within city limits in a special election on March 17th.

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