Drinking holidays in East Lansing increase revenue at bars and liquor stores

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East Lansing, being a college town, has a lot of bars and liquor stores where alcohol can be obtained. Those places see an increase in the amount of alcohol sales around several holidays that are considered drinking holidays.

These drinking holidays are just normal holidays that society has associated with drinking. Either at parties or in social places such as bars as well as purchasing alcohol from liquor stores these holidays have become connected to alcohol.

Some bars and liquor stores see an influx of people around drinking holidays. Some holidays that are considered examples of drinking holidays would be New Year’s Eve and Halloween as well as the 4th of July.

We definitely see an influx I mean New Year’s Eve is a big one, Halloween is also a big one, a lot of it being in a college town revolves around when school starts and ends,” said Benny McGowan, a manager at The Riv.

The Riv a restaurant and bar at 231 M. A. C. Ave in East Lansing. Graphic: Andy K. Hahn via Google Docs

The Riv, is a bar and restaurant in East Lansing that serves both locals and students. The Riv also has a full game section for its patrons to enjoy.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a known big drinking holiday; that’s why we as a bar take extra precautions to make sure that we have over the normal amount of staff scheduled to work so we can make sure everybody stays safe in the bar and still have a good time,” said McGowan

John Welsh, a manager at Big Ten East, which is a liquor store in East Lansing, said that they see an increase in sales though he believes that bars would see a bigger increase in sales. They do see a larger student population coming to there liquor store but there is a local population who are not students as well.

Bars and liquor stores have different appeals to each and bring in a different crowd with that.

“One of the biggest things about the Riv is we will never close early before 2:00 a.m. when we have to cut off the drinks but other bars in the area will close early and other restaurants and stuff. So we see a lot of industry people coming over to us because they know we’re gonna be open till two so they can grab a drink when they get of work,” said McGowan

Although not considered a holiday in most regards, when students return bars do see an increase in alcohol sales during this time, along with before the end of semesters.

“So for us the first week back of each semester is always busy and the last couple weeks of each semester is always busier. There are just trends with it (alcohol sales), revolving around Michigan State. Like I said for St. Patrick’s Day we know when these dates are so we plan accordingly with having the proper staffing and stuff here,” said McGowan.

Even on holidays where the bars can be crowded you can still see the locals of East Lansing out in the student populated scene.

“I can only speak for the Riv; we do have a lot of locals that come in we have a good amount of regulars that will come in late at night a lot of people from other bars will come in to ours,” said McGowan.

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