Business

Marysville store among 18 state liquor stores up for bid May 24

MARYSVILLE — A Marysville liquor store is set to be among the 18 state liquor stores that the Washington State Liquor Control Board plans to auction off live on Thursday, May 24.

Although the WSLCB's previous online auction just recently ended on April 20, top bidders for 18 of those state liquor stores did not pay their posted bids, sacrificing their deposits. Bidders representing 149 state liquor stores have already paid a total of $25.9 million in bid fees to the state.

"I can't say we had any expectations of defaults," said Pat McLaughlin, business enterprise director of the WSLCB. "We were dealing with people whom we expected to follow through on their commitments, but for various reasons, 18 of those bids fell through."

McLaughlin nonetheless deemed the auction process "highly successful," although he noted that the WSLCB will ensure the viability of bidders in the May 24 auction by requiring cashier's checks of $10,000 each to serve as their deposits.

"We believe that will discourage those who aren't serious bidders," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin touted the Marysville liquor store, located in Suite C at 6608 64th St. NE, as a sound investment.

"At the last auction, it went for $203,000, above the average of $185,000 for the stores that were up for bid," McLaughlin said. "It's a great store. We expect all of these stores to sell quickly, raising more windfalls for the state in the process."

Bids in the online auction that ended on April 20 totaled $30.75 million. Following the live auction on May 24, the WSLCB estimates total bids and fees will exceed $31 million.

The May 24 auction will take place at the WSLCB Distribution Center, located at 4401 E. Marginal Way in Seattle. Registration will start at 9 a.m. and live bids will follow at 10 a.m.

Successful bidders will win exclusive rights to apply for liquor licenses at the stores' current locations, within their current footprints. All state liquor stores are within the 10,000-square-foot threshold for liquor sales established by Initiative 1183.

Additional details on the live public auction and comprehensive data on each of the 18 stores being auctioned is available on the WSLCB website at www.liq.wa.gov. Look for the "Public Auction" graphic on the homepage.

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