The figures for September’s liquor taxes are in. And the revenue Caryville received from it has tripled since August.
Caryville received $31,551.59 in liquor taxes in September. This is three times as much as Augusts’ $10,868.38. Just under $7,000 was received in July after 141 Wine and Spirits, Campbell County’s first liquor store, opened.
Caryville Mayor Robert Stooksbury didn’t want to read too much into July’s numbers. He believed it will take as many as six months to determine how much money Caryville can expect to receive in taxes from the new industry. Because there have never been liquor sales in Campbell County, there is nothing to compare the figures to, Stooksbury said.
Now that the numbers have increased, the difference could be contributed to by the recently opened Liquor Barn. The Liquor Barn contributed $23,013.59 to September’s total.
While the Liquor Barn didn’t open until Oct. 1, it purchased inventory in late August and throughout September, which was taxed.
The Liquor Barn has now been open for a month.
“Overall, it’s been exactly what we anticipated, and we think it will be better as we get established there,” Davenport said.
The more word of mouth got around sales increased weekly as the month progressed, Davenport said. He averaged around 1,100 transactions a week.
Because of location, Davenport said the store is attracting customers from the south and east. There were customers from Campbell, Anderson and Claiborne Counties. The Liquor Barn also benefits from the hotels that are on Exit 34. This allows it to receive business from travelers.
“We had a lot more than we anticipated of I-75 travelers,” Davenport said.
Davenport attributes this to people traveling south to Gatlinburg to see the leaves change. He does anticipate holiday travel, and plans wine tastings to benefit from this potential business.
Davenport feels that not only location, but the appearance of the store itself will help attract business.
“It’s a more unique store than other liquor stores,” Davenport said.
Davenport has put effort into utilize the building’s unique appearance, he said.
Davenport’s arrival into the liquor business has been months in the making. Caryville offered two certificates of compliance in April. One of these went to Mark Hoskins and Jeff Hoskins, who opened 141 Wine and Spirits in July. The other certificate went to Davenport, who could not obtain a license from the state in June like the Hoskins brothers because he was remodeling. After receiving his license on July 27, he continued to be delayed because he had to put shelving in and stock the Liquor Barn.
Since the $23,014.59 Caryville received from the Liquor Barn doesn’t come from sales tax, it is hard to predict how two liquor stores operating within close proximity on Interstate 75 will affect the revenue flow in the future.
“This is a new revenue source we’ve never had before,” Stooksbury said in September. “This is entirely new ground for us. We really don’t know what it’s going to do. Whatever it is, it is going to help.”
Davenport is confident about the revenue this business will generate for Caryville.
“Caryville, it will definitely be beneficial to them,” Davenport said. “As they go along, they will definitely see those numbers grow. In about a year, Caryville will definitely see the benefits of the legalization of it.”