Tryon ABC store's future looks uncertain. (photo by Leah Justice)

Archived Story

State ABC: Tryon store in trouble

Published 1:14pm Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tryon ABC board to decide next action

The future of Tryon’s ABC store looks bleak.

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, Oct. 16 and heard a report from town manager Caitlin Martin who said the N.C. ABC Commission found the store to be approximately $3,000 short after conducting inventory. Martin said the state recommended Tryon’s store either shut down or consolidate with the Town of Columbus’ store.

Tryon has not yet spoken with Columbus regarding a potential consolidation, Martin said. Tryon’s ABC board, meanwhile, has someone currently conducting an audit of the store.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said the $3,000 shortage in inventory was mostly in mini bottles of liquor.

“We had a group from Raleigh in here investigating for the third time,” Peoples said. “We were working on that, folks, and had to find out what’s going on.”

Commissioner George Baker said he’s looked at the state report and said the missing inventory could have been going on for years.

“I don’t want people to think we had a bunch of thieves running the ABC store,” Baker said. “I don’t think that was the case.”

The main issue with the ABC store seems to be a lack of revenue. Town officials said the last time the ABC store produced revenue for the town was in 2007.

Commissioners said they don’t want to see the store close. Commissioner Wim Woody said if the economy improves and Tryon gets a couple of new restaurants, the ABC store could be profitable.

The ABC store has been closed since Sept. 7 after the state and town closed its doors pending an audit and inventory.

Last year, Tryon officials expressed concern over the store’s future due to lack of revenue. Town representatives have said the relocation of the store from downtown to South Trade Street and several restaurants closing down caused the store’s business to decline.

Tryon has run an ABC store since 1951 and at the time was the only one in Polk County, which is a dry county.

Peoples said in the 1980s the ABC store brought in more than $200,000 a year in revenue but after Columbus opened an ABC store and South Carolina ABC stores opened, Tryon’s revenue began declining.

Tryon’s ABC board has a meeting scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25 at 5:15 p.m. at the town hall meeting room.



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