Sunday Liquor Sales Begin

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For the first time in 75 years, the cash registers were ringing at local liquor stores on a Sunday.

"It's been kind of brisk," said Wayne Fisher, owner of Fisher's Liquor Barn. "There's been people coming and going."

"It's been a fairly steady flow of people," said Monty Haltiner, manager of Crossroads Wines and Spirits.

A new state law allowing the sale of liquor on Sundays officially went into effect July 1. For Grand Valley residents like Ted Madsen, he's sure glad it did.

"We're having a party today that we need this," said Madsen. "We didn't have a chance to get it yesterday."

He's not the only one excited about the change.

"It feels great," said Sunday shopper Susan Hall. "We used to shop on Sundays in California. I've been here for thirty years and I've never adjusted."

But for many stores, adjusting is just what they had to do. Before the law was passed, several liquor store owners weren't too keen on the idea, saying they would have to change staff schedules, they would have to pay more operating costs, and they weren't even sure if customers would actually come to their stores.

Fisher says he was one of those people at first, but as he thought about it more and more, he saw potential.

"It worked out good," said Fisher. "I had the people to fill the spots, and when I came in this morning and I'm kind of excited about it now."

He says his store is giving Sunday sales a six month trial before he makes any long term decisions.

"Once we get going and the customers get in the habit of coming on Sunday, we'll probably just be right here," said Fisher.

Other liquor store managers say they haven't made any final decisions on Sunday sales either, but that day one struck a promising tone.

"Just judging by the amount of people we've had in today, it will probably be worth it in the end," said Haltiner.

But other stores say it's not worth it. The owners at Hilltop Liquors on 5th Street say even with the new laws, they won't be open on Sundays. A sign posted on the door says they like having their day off.

Even though not every Grand Valley liquor store will be open Sundays, customers say they're looking forward to having that option at other stores for years to come.

"I'll probably frequent on Sundays fairly often," said Hall.

"It feels great," said Madsen. "A little wicked since it's the first time out, but welcome to the twenty-first century."

Liquor store owners say they expect Sunday sales to skyrocket during the upcoming football season. They say that will be the real test to see whether or not it's worth keeping their stores open on Sundays.