Columbus does not want to merge ABC stores

Published 10:21 am Monday, November 26, 2012

Baker added that the store being closed is a huge black mark for the town and an inconvenience to the residents.

Council came to a consensus for Martin to work on a plan to get the store reopened.

Tryon’s ABC store has struggled for years, with the store not producing a profit for the town since 2007. The ABC board has also been recently reformed, with the board not being able to meet for months this year due to lack of members. Council also on Tuesday appointed Richard Rardin as chair of the ABC board. Other members are Dennis Durham and Debra Isabell.

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ABC board members met in October and again on Nov. 19 and have said they think with the right management and the board being more involved, the store could be profitable.

The store has remained closed since Sept. 7 with the inventory being sold to pay bills. The Columbus store is selling to Tryon’s restaurants while Tryon’s store is closed.

Town officials have said repeatedly that the relocation of the store several years ago from downtown to South Trade Street hurt business especially due to the store now being in close proximity to the South Carolina line, which has an ABC store just over the line and sells liquor cheaper than North Carolina. A few restaurants in Tryon have also closed, which hurt the ABC store’s business.

Tryon has run an ABC store since 1951 and for many years was the only ABC store in Polk County, which remains a dry county, except for in the towns.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said last month that at one time Tryon’s ABC store profited over $200,000 annually.