UMATILLA, Wash.- It's been more than a year since the privatization of liquor sales in the state of Washington. NBC Right Now looked into how the impact of initiative 1183 is still helping some liquor stores just across the state line.
When liquor sales in Washington were privatized, taxes went up and so did the prices. That helped boost sales for liquor stores like the one in Umatilla. Just over the state border and close enough to the Tri-Cities, Washingtonians showed last year that they will drive a little farther to pay less.
Store managers told us, sales went up last year after initiative 1183 passed and they've continued to stay there. Debbie Klemetsen was hired at her store so they could keep up with all of the new customers.
"Washington sales have been our lion share of sales for even before your initiative passed," said Klemetsen. "Sales increased last year quite a bit when the initiative passed. This year they've remained flat and steady."
Store managers also told us that being right across the bridge does not hurt. They say even if Washington prices go down, they will still hold onto their loyal Washington customers.