Christmas liquor sales in Utah break record, with brisk business expected to continue as New Year’s holiday nears

Utah had its best sales day ever on the Friday before Christmas, selling $3.78 million in wine, heavy beer and spirits, numbers from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control show.

That single-day sales figure beat the record set Dec. 23, 2016. On that day, $3.73 million in beverages was sold in the state.

Sales lagged earlier in the week, DABC spokesman Terry Wood said. “But when the snow came, sales picked up at the Park City stores and the store in Cottonwood Heights.

“These stores see a lot of traffic from both in-state and out-of-state skiers,” Wood said.

Saturday was another good day, with nearly $3.5 million in sales, the DABC numbers show. That was the last business day before Christmas; liquor stores were closed Sunday, as they always are, and Monday for Christmas.

Last year, on Christmas Eve, state liquor stores collected more than $2 million in sales, the DABC figures show. Liquor stores typically close a few hours early on Dec. 24.

There was a 10 percent jump in sales during the six business days before Christmas. Between Dec. 18 and 23, Utah consumers spent $15.4 million at state-owned liquor stores. Last year, more than $14 million worth was sold in the six-business-day span.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Champagne on sale at the new state liquor store in West Valley City.

Liquor stores will continue to be busy this week as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day approach. State liquor stores will be open regular hours Friday and Saturday. But all stores will be closed Sunday and Monday.

There are several reasons liquor sales are booming in Utah, but the state’s changing demographics may be the most prominent. In the past three decades, there has been an influx of new residents — including many non-Mormons who are more likely to consume alcohol.

A rise in the number of breweries, distilleries and wineries in Utah also contributes to the increases.