Like many of you, I've paid my local liquor store a visit a time or two during this state- mandated, Coronavirus lockdown. There has been a debate about whether or not liquor stores should be considered, "essential businesses," so I though I'd reach out to the one person who knows more about the topic than anyone.

I've been asked the question a couple of times recently whether or not I consider liquor stores to be an essential business in times of crisis such as a national pandemic. Let me just say, my whiskey shelf is very plentiful, and if you knew how much sales of liquor stimulates local government in the Gem State, you might share my opinion also.

"For people that don't know, sales from our stores do go directly into aiding city government. That includes our area parks, fire departments, police, and community colleges," said Chief Deputy Director Tony Faraca, with the Idaho State Liquor Division.

I recently read liquor sales in the country are up 20-25%, and asked Tony about this.

"I'm not sure if it's really that high, Faraca said. "We did begin to notice the first signs of a spike when the first Coronavirus case was reported in the state. Then again when the stay-at-home directive was issued. It was about March 12 we noticed people really started getting the word."

As to if there was such a timeframe when increased liquor sales in the state really showed substantial profit compared to this time last year, the director had this to say.

"The period from March thirteenth to that Monday, the sixteenth, was huge compared to last year. We also didn't anticipate the last week of March, particularly the twenty-fifth, being so busy, " said Faraca. "It rivaled sales from New Years Eve."

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