Demand drives up liquor license prices

By EMMA HAMBURG/Montana State News

 The cost of liquor licenses have skyrocketed in the last five years, prices have averaged anywhere from $320,000 to $800,000 in Bozeman city limits.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the growth in Bozeman, increasing demand, and low supply of licenses is creating a secondary market for buying and selling license.

 In light of recent issues, multiple conversations have taken place regarding liquor distribution in the Gallatin County.

Obtaining a license is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for those looking to start a business on a smaller budget. In comparison, according to the Idaho Press, a liquor licenses in Boise, Idaho on average goes for $140,000.

A recent remodel of a historical downtown building, The Taproom on the corner of Rouse and Mendenhall, has again brought attention to the licensing scene in Bozeman.

A debate sparked in the Bozeman City Commission over The Taproom wishing to obtain a full liquor license. Due to its proximity to Hawthorne Elementary School, parents and citizens were divided in on the ethics of opening a full bar across the street from an elementary school.

The City Commission’s agenda item was deferred due to the school district changing the address of Hawthorn elementary, leaving The Taproom in limbo and much conversation to be had.

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