Saturday is going to be an ‘enormous’ day at Utah liquor stores

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s alcohol control authority is bracing for a big day for liquor sales.

December 23 is projected to be the biggest sales day in the entire history of Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

People wait in line at the Cottonwood Heights DABC store on Christmas Eve. (FOX 13 News)

“Saturday the 23rd will be enormous,” said DABC Executive Director Sal Petilos.

Last year, Dec. 23 set the all-time record for the DABC with about $3.7 million in sales. Because it falls on a Saturday this year, with state-run liquor stores closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the DABC is projecting even bigger sales.

Bracing for long lines at liquor stores statewide, Petilos urged people to shop earlier in the week. He also asked for patience as clerks try their best to ring up everyone’s purchases quickly.

“We’re trying our best to move everybody through the line as quickly as possible,” Petilos told FOX 13. “The fact of the matter is, there’s only so many outlets, so many cashiers in the store.”

Year after year, the DABC breaks sales records. In fiscal year 2017, the agency did about $427 million in sales. Within the next couple of years, Utah’s liquor control authority could clear a half-billion in sales.

The DABC’s warehouse has 14 stories of alcohol. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

The sales figures have even surprised some at the DABC, which attributes the increased sales to an increased population and changing demographics. Agency spokesman Terry Wood told FOX 13 that trends show people are buying higher-priced alcohol, a sign of a good economy and people wanting better booze. The average price point for a bottle is $20.

“A lot of millenials are spending more money on a bottle of alcohol these days,” he said.

FOX 13 requested a listing of the top selling alcohols in Utah. Here they are: