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Rapids Spirits experiences record sales during July

The city of Park Rapids continues to see profits from its liquor store operation on Highway 34.

Rapids Spirits Manager Scott Olson reported in July that there were a few record-setting days.

The month of June had a 2 percent increase in sales compared to 2008.

July "started with a bang," Olson said in his monthly report, with an increase in sales for July 3 of 26.8 percent and 399 more customers. The 4th of July was also up 20.4 percent and up 168 customers compared to 2008.

When looking at the week of the 4th of July, Olson reported a sales total that was 82.5 percent of what is sold in the entire month of January. The customer count averaged 137 people per hour. With three registers going, the average was 46 transactions per register per hour.

Olson contributes some of the increase to nicer weather, lower gas prices and no construction on Highway 34 this summer.

The summer season brings an increase in beer sales, Olson reported. Gross sales are about 50 percent beer. The wine category seems to be a growth area, Olson reported.

The year-to-date numbers for 2009 show an increase of 3.4 percent, which is on budget, Olson reported.

The 2008 audit for the city of Park Rapids showed an increase of $50,769 for the liquor store. The liquor fund's increase was small in 2008 due to transfers to the airport fund to balance that fund, and engineering and legal fees for Kaywood Trail project, the Downtown Revitalization project and the Community Center study.

Rapids Spirits will be getting a new sign this summer, which was part of the capital budget. Bids came in this last week.