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Mith242

Alcohol in Arkansas

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I know we've already discussed some alcohol issue in the gambling and wet/dry counties. But I was hoping to take it into another direction. I was checking out some news when I came across some info about a wine summit at St Louis. There will be people from around the world at this and they will also get a chance to check out the wine region in the northeast area of the Ozarks. Reading this reminded me about our own wine region at Altus. It's really a shame we haven't done more to this potential big tourist area. What's even worse is that Altus has better growing conditions than Missouri and a lot of people in Missouri learned a lot of what they know from Altus. Wineries are becomming big tourists areas, and I just don't mean Napa Valley. Many states have jumped on board, many of which you'd probably even be surprised they had wineries there. Oklahoma and Texas are getting on board. Yet we still sit here with Altus and haven't done anything to help it to it's potential. The wineries at Altus have tried to get the state to imrpove tourism and have a 'wine tour' for that area. But the state wouldn't even shell out the money to buy one of those brown signs to put on I-40. I'm not sure if all of this has to do with the fact we are more in the Bible Belt than Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. For a state that already relies a lot on tourism, it just seems strange to me not to not to take advantage of this potential around Altus. One of Arkansas's native grape varieties, the Cynthiana, is considered by many the best American grape to make wine with. As opposed to the vinefera (European) grapes, that most wine in the world is made from. It just seems like there is so much potential for Altus. It seems so odd that states that hardly had any wineries not too many years ago have already overpassed Arkansas. Chateau Aux Arc is the only new winery in Arkansas for decades. So does anyone have any comments?

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I've been to Altus twice. It's a cute place. I guess I agree with you for the most part. Being that wineries are touted in every state, I'm not sure how compelling it would be for out of state tourists..... but I probably don't know enough about the subject to comment much.

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I guess I just think Arkansas needs to try to develop other types of tourism. Sure we've got the natural aspect down pretty good. I think developing something more like this and also developing more urban types of tourism could bring more people and more of the types of people who might spend more money than someone who mainly camps and such with the natural tourism.

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I guess I just think Arkansas needs to try to develop other types of tourism.  Sure we've got the natural aspect down pretty good.  I think developing something more like this and also developing more urban types of tourism could bring more people and more of the types of people who might spend more money than someone who mainly camps and such with the natural tourism.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Haha true. But we don't have much urban tourism to offer besides Litlte Rock, Hot Springs, and Eureka Springs. And maybe Fayetteville.

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Haha true.  But we don't have much urban tourism to offer besides Litlte Rock, Hot Springs, and Eureka Springs.  And maybe Fayetteville.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah I know there isn't much, but thjat's why I think it's one of the areas of tourism we miss out a lot on. I imagine we will be far away before developing much in this area, but I do think it would be a good additional to the tourism that we already have.

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A while back ago the Supreme Court ruled on two states that allowed in state internet wine sales but didn't allow out of state. Even though Arkansas had similar laws apparently for some reason it didn't apply yet to Arkansas. I think Arkansas was hoping to not have to worry about it or at least wait to see what more states did. But Arkansas will have to end up doing something now. Apparently someone in Arkansas wants to buy some wine from Michigan of all places over the internet. Both he and the windery are both suing Arkansas for not allowing them to do what is legal to do with in-state wineries. The Supreme Court ruling dealt with both New York and Michigan. New York has decided to allow in state and out of state wine sales over the internet. Michigan apparently hasn't decided yet but is leaning to banning all wine sales again to prevent out of state wine sales. I imagine Arkansas will end up doing the same thing. To be honest I don't think in state wine over the internet amounts to too much here in Arkansas. With the exception of a few areas of Arkansas Altus isn't that far away from most places. And even though gas prices are going up I still think it would be cheaper to go to the winery than to pay shipping and handling and postal insurance to have wine delivered to you. I personally would like the opportunity to be able to buy out of state wine over the internet. But I doubt any of Arksansas's wineries want the out of state competition and don't make much from internet sales in state so I'm sure they'll push for no internet sales. I do see the arguement about dry counties being able to buy wine over the internet. But I really don't like Arkansas's three tier system for alcohol. There seem to be so few distributors that can legally sell alcohol to liquor stores here in Arkansas. If none of the few ditributors bother to carry something then your just out of luck in getting something you might want. Just seems odd that the state seems to allow a few people to monopolize the business, a self imposed state enforced monopoly. Anyone have any comments on this subject or any predictions on what will happen?

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Well a new 'flagship' type of Sam's that is being built in Fayetteville will be able to sell alcohol. There will be a liquor store added to the store. I'm not sure if it will be a totally seperate building or not. I do know that there are Wal-marts and maybe even other Sam's in the state that sell beer and maybe even wine. But they are pushing more into alcohol. A Supercenter that was built just across the Missouri line has the largest alcohol section in a Wal-mart that's been built so far. This will have implications in the rest of the state. Expect to see Wal-mart to start adding liquor stores to their Supercenters and Sam's.

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Now that the Sam's here in Fayetteville will be allowed to have their own liquor store we'll have to see where it goes from here. Apparently the ways the alcohol laws are set up here in Arkansas they can't have another Wal-mart or Sam's with a liquor store even if it's in another part of the state. They will only allow one liquor license per person/intenty. But many people do expect Wal-mart to eventually find some way around it or possibly get the law rewritten. One example used was Wal-mart's first liquor permit issued in 1997 in Missouri, now they have 72 in Missouri. One person has already gotten around that law. He and his family and relatives own almost all the liquor stores in Springdale and some of the liquor stores in Fayetteville. Washington County is also different than most wet counties in that it doesn't allow alcohol to be sold in grocery stores, only in liquor stores. While I do feel bad for some of the independant liquor stores I don't feel too badly for the one particular family (I think their name is Phillips) that own a majority of the liquor stores in Washington County. Not only do they have unfair advantage in controlling most of the liquor stores they also get absolutely no competition from grocery stores. The liquor store at the new Sam's here will be able to sell beer, wine and hard liquor. Now we'll just have to see if this is the first step in them being able to get more of their stores with liquor stores 'added on' or not. You'd think they would find some way to get into the liquor business as well. Anyway have any comments on other Sam's or Wal-mart having liquor stores added on in other locations in the state?

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I was wondering if anyone had any comments about liquor stores in other parts of the state. Seems like liquor stores always seem to make the news up here. Not necessarily because many people oppose them but it seems like there are always people wanting to build more but Alcolhol Board in Little Rock will allow only so many per the number of residents. Just doesn't seem like I hear about other places in Arkansas being denied new liquor stores and such. But then again Washington County does't allow any alcohol, even beer, to be sold in grocery stores and such so all liquor has to basically be bought in liquor stores. I've noticed that northwest Arkansas seems to be much more into wine than the rest of Arkansas. One of our liquor stores here in Fayetteville claims it sells more wine than any other place in Arkansas even Little Rock. My only problem is that it seems to me that people in northwest Arkansas seem to snub Arkansas wines. I wish there was a little more support up here for Arkansas wines. Anyone have any comments on liquor stores in the rest of the state or what people tend to prefer to drink in other areas of the state? I've also noticed in the last few years how easier it is to find good quality tequila around here too. Since I'm a big fan of mexican food, I'm very happy to have a bigger and better selection of tequila here in northwest Arkansas.

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