Archive for Thursday, July 28, 2005

Liquor store owners seek Sunday sales

Basehor City Council to take up issue Monday; local store owners cite loss of revenue

July 28, 2005

It takes months to find a customer and mere seconds to lose one, according to Dave Burkemper, manager of Shorty's Liquor Store in Basehor. And lately his store inside Basehor Town Square has been losing a lot of customers on Sundays.

"We have them for six days a week and one day we have to send them away," Burkemper said.

Surrounded by nearby cities such as Bonner Springs, Edwardsville, Kansas City, Kan., Leavenworth and Lansing that allow sales of packaged liquor on Sundays, Shorty's Liquor Store is watching local business go to out-of-town competitors.

Next week, Shorty's owners, Jim and Cathy Breuer, will petition the Basehor City Council to allow the store to remain open on Sunday and some holidays.

They have the support of area residents; approximately 1,000 people have signed a petition at the store supporting its bid for Sunday sales.

"This town has lost a lot of business," Jim Breuer said. "I've had a lot of people tell me they're tired of driving to Bonner Springs."

He added, "My customers are all saying, 'get this thing open on Sundays.'"

Burkemper estimated that Shorty's loses between $1,000 and $1,500 each Sunday it's closed. "Now times that by 52," he said.

The figure when there is a Sunday race at the Kansas Speedway or a Kansas City Chiefs game.

"All stores are in competition and that's business that we lose that goes directly to them," Burkemper said. "The fact that we're bordered with another county that allows it ... it's like we're handicapped."

Next week's meeting won't be the city council's first exploration of Sunday sales. In 2003, the governing body reached a near-unanimous decision not to allow sales on Sundays and major holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Memorial and Independence days.

City council president John Bonee, who voted against the proposal in 2003, understands the plight of the local liquor store. Bonee said he was torn about voting for the proposal two years ago.

Deciding once again may prove just as difficult.

"My gut tells me to go with the business owner because (business) is the life blood of our community, but I was elected to represent the people. I'm kind of torn between the two."

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