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Fifth Liquor Store To Help Inundate Bristol, TN with Booze

by Lewis Loflin

The Bristol, TN City Council approved Newbegin Enterprises' Speedway Wine and Spirits, the fifth liquor store within the city limits, the most allowed under current law. (A formula of one store for every 5,000 residents.) Another store, Pit Row Wine and Liquor, just opened in March.

Johnson City's Newbegin Enterprises headed by Vernie Abla and is investing $200,000. Other Bristol liquor store owners wished him luck and said the new store will not prosper over the long haul by being near the speedway. This is because the City is already is inundated with liquor stores. (It also has a lot of drunks around the bus station.)

To quote, "We're not creating any new drinkers here. There's only so many people in Bristol, and the population has actually been dropping." In July 2007, council members eliminated the city's three package store districts. Some owners expressed concern that a 5th booze store could cause the whole business to "stall." All five seem to be trying to feed off the traffic from Bristol Motor Speedway and the legions of drunks it brings to town. Ref. BHC June 7, 2008

One local resident asked, "So how many new jobs will this create? Why not recruit industries besides retail and restaurant and emphasize education more in this area? Seems like city leaders of Bristol TN only want this to be a retirement town of seniors and disabled people. And to quote another blogger, "Having enough accommodation for the race fans and locals alike is good.

"Flooding" an area with stores that carry the exact same merchandise is counterproductive. It will cause a strain on the already existing businesses, and prove to be only moderately profitable for the newest...Wal-Mart has wiped out at least twenty (probably more) small and medium businesses in the area because in their insatiable greed, they put up two "super stores" within twenty miles of each other."

He is referring to the Wal-Mart at Virginia Exit 7, another on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, Tennessee, and another proposed store in nearby Abingdon, Virginia.