For visitors planning to party in Las Vegas, flying into McCarran International Airport often meant a detour to the liquor store before checking in at their hotel.
Now travelers can save a trip and pick up a bottle of their favorite beer, wine or spirit at a new liquor store that opened Monday near the baggage claim area in Terminal 1.
The Liquor Library isn’t a typical duty-free store found in airports. It still charges sales and liquor taxes, and it’s geared toward arriving visitors wanting to pick up supplies for the vacation ahead.
“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,” said Rich Worthington, who co-owns the store with Chris Haase. “(The Liquor Library) offers a lot of convenience to people coming into the valley. They can take that part of their trip out of their timeline and stop in while they’re waiting for their bags.”
The Liquor Library is believed to be the first airport liquor store in the country that is not duty-free, said Worthington, who also is president of the Molasky Group of Companies.
Occupying 1,400 square feet near the escalators leading from the D gates to the baggage claim in Terminal 1, the Liquor Library went vertical to maximize its shelf space and uses a series of ladders to allow clerks to reach the highest spots.
The library motif pervades the store, with dark wooden floors and staff dressed like faux librarians, Worthington said.
The store will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is expected to create about 20 part-time and full-time jobs, he said.
Worthington said the store would focus on offering high-end wines, spirits and craft beers, but it also will include more budget-friendly liquors in addition to cigars, sodas and other convenience store items.
“Our product selection is a little more discerning because we only have 1,400 square feet,” he said. “We will also have price points from the low end, with value-oriented wines in the neighborhood of $10 or $11.”
In the works for more than two years, the store originally was to be built and operated by Lee’s Discount Liquor, but the company lost the opportunity when it failed to begin construction by a Dec. 30, 2011, deadline.
The contract, which requires 15 percent of the store’s gross revenues be paid to the Clark County government, was awarded in February of this year to the Liquor Library.
The airport location is the first retail outlet for the Liquor Library, and although no plans for expansion are in the works, the company is exploring other opportunities within McCarran, said Haase, who operates a chain of convenience stores and is president of Burnett Haase Construction.