The Brilliant Las Vegas Wine & Spirits Innovation

Anyone who has ever spent any leisure time in Las Vegas must have noticed that it is a creation of monumental uniqueness: a city dedicated to promoting and encouraging excessive sinning where common sense and traditional ideas of decorum really have no place.

It’s no surprise either that alcohol plays a central role in its presentation of the excessive lifestyle. Throughout the late 1990s and into the 2000s, Vegas was considered the “Black Hole of Fine Wine”, the place where the most expensive, most sought after, rarest bottles of wine and champagne wound up on wine lists, in VIP lounges and just about anywhere else where the heftier wallets hung out.

But it was a recent news report of a new kind of liquor outlet that caught my eye that reinforced the reality of Las Vegas being an alcohol fueled adult way-station:

Liquor Library, A New Kind of Convenience Store, Opens at McCarran Airport

What’s different about Liquor Library is that it is the first non duty-free liquor store to open at an American airport. We are all familiar with duty-free shops in terminals where you can buy champagne, scotch, wine, etc without paying any tax. Sometimes you can save considerable money. But the new Liquor Library charges tax. More importantly, the Liquor Library is located adjacent to the baggage pick up area, catering to those who have just ARRIVED in Vegas, not those leaving.

In other words, “Let’s get this party started right now!”

“I think Las Vegas is a unique environment. We have a tremendous amount of people who come here to let their hair down a bit,”  “(The Liquor Library) offers a lot of convenience to people coming into the valley. They can take that part of their trip [stopping at a nearby liquor store after arriving at the airport] out of their timeline and stop in while they’re waiting for their bags.”
Rich Worthington, Co-Owner of Liquor Library

First of all, I have to explain that any self-respecting adult coming to Vegas to party ought to have pre-arranged to have a limo already packed with booze pick them up at McCarren’s baggage claim. But I’m quibbling. The point is that Mr. Worthington’s business model at Liquor Library relies on the idea that those coming to Vegas to party are so intent on drinking as soon as possible that they are unwilling to wait to begin while they traverse the half mile from the airport to the nearest liquor store. It strikes me that you have to be resident of Vegas to even have this business model come to mind.

In any case, for wine lovers coming to Vegas to party, rest easy knowing that you are likely to be able to find some pretty nice wines while you wait for your bag to arrive on the carousel. It’s a 1,400 square foot store that packs in a lot of good stuff. Plus, wine lovers can now feel at ease knowing that they don’t have to wait the ten minutes it takes to go from the airport to the nearest liquor store to get their hands on a good bottle of Sparkling Wine for their ride over to The Strip.

That’s a relief!


5 Responses

  1. Larry Chandler - November 8, 2012

    Folks who live in Southern Utah also think it’s a great idea. Most of us fly in and out of Las Vegas and a good wine store at the airport makes it a lot easier to load up the car for the drive back to beautiful scenery and less than beautiful liquor laws.

  2. Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: Revolutionaries - November 9, 2012

    [...] Tom Wark takes note of Liquor Library, a new store at the Las Vegas airport: “[W]ine lovers can now feel at ease knowing that they don’t have to wait the ten minutes it takes to go from the airport to the nearest liquor store to get their hands on a good bottle of Sparkling Wine for their ride over to The Strip.” [...]

  3. Peter - November 9, 2012

    One quibble: it wouldn’t be the first wine shop in an airport. Surdyk’s Flights ( http://surdyksflights.com ) operates within the secured area at Minneapols-St. Paul International. I’ve bought a few bottles there and taken them on the plane with me to Vegas! (No you can’t open them on the plane.)

  4. Daily Wine News: Revolutionaries | Wine 2020 - November 10, 2012

    [...] Tom Wark takes note of Liquor Library, a new store at the Las Vegas airport: “[W]ine lovers can now feel at ease knowing that they don’t have to wait the ten minutes it takes to go from the airport to the nearest liquor store to get their hands on a good bottle of Sparkling Wine for their ride over to The Strip.” [...]

  5. Lindsey Whipple - November 12, 2012

    I love my hometown! Perfect baggage claim! U can wine money on the slots then go buy a great bottle to celebrate!


Leave a Reply


one × = one