Vancouver liquor store among 14 being closed

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

Updated: April 24, 2012, 4:52 PM

 

A state liquor store off Burton Road in Vancouver and 13 other stores across the state will close for good Thursday as Washington prepares to hand over hard liquor sales on June 1 to private retail businesses.

The store being closed is located in the Safeway-anchored Four Seasons Place commercial center at 2612 N.E. 114th Ave., according to the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Officials said the stores were strategically chosen to minimize disruption of service.

Store employees will be transferred to fill in employment gaps at the remaining state-run stores, which will shut down at the end of May, in accordance with Initiative 1183. Voters passed the measure in November. Since then, the state has been filling store vacancies with temporary workers as state workers have left the agency in droves.

Initiative 1183 directed the liquor control board to auction the state store properties at present locations. Those sales, which included seven Vancouver stores, were announced Monday. It is still unclear what will happen to Clark County’s seven contract stores, which are now operated by contractors who sell liquor through the state.

At least one store — in Amboy — is expected to close, while one in Ridgefield is expected to remain open for business.