The Washington State Liquor Control Board auctioned the rights to apply for a spirits retail liquor license at 167 state-run liquor stores statewide. The sum of individual bids totaled $30.75 million, with rights awarded to 121 individual successful bidders.
Online bidding ended in a flurry of bidding on its final day on Friday.
Initiative 1183 directed the WSLCB to auction the state store properties at their current location. However, the state leases the properties, not owns, creating a unique circumstance for the auction.
Successful bidders earned the exclusive right to apply for a liquor license at the current location.
All state store properties are below the 10,000 square foot threshold required in the initiative.
Successful bidders will need to secure a lease with the property landlord. If they are unable to secure a lease, they may re-sell their right or request an alternative location within a one-mile radius of the existing location.
The WSLCB ran two simultaneous auctions to achieve "maximum reasonable value," as stated in the initiative. The first was for each individual store. The second was for all store locations available for a single bid, with the state taking the higher of the two. The sum of individual bids exceeded the $4.6 million all-store high bid by a nearly 7:1 ratio.
By the Numbers
· Total sum of individual bids $30.75 million
· High all-store bid $4.6 million (will not count)
· Registered bidders 551
· Total number of bids 14,627
· Single stores to individuals 93
· Multiple stores to individuals 28
· Lowest winning bid $49,600 for Store 186 in Spokane (Division Street)
· Highest winning bid $750,100 for Store 122 in Tacoma (72nd and Pacific)
· Increase in bids on final day $23.7 million