Stronger beer in Utah weakens sales in border communities

FILE- In this June 30, 2017, file photo, a worker at a state liquor store changes prices on wine, liquor and beer in Salt Lake City. In Mormon dominated Utah where alcohol is frowned upon, liquor sales keep climbing each year. The two-decade rise is likely fueled by a steady influx of new out-of-state residents drawn for jobs and a thriving tourism sector driven by snow-capped mountains and red-rock national parks. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Businesses in communities bordering Utah say the state's new and stronger beer allowances have hurt sales.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the beer sales have dropped about 20% to 30% in some parts of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado.

Business officials say the drop in sales came after Utah began letting grocery stores, gas stations and bars sell brews with 5% alcohol by volume in November.

Business owners say residents who wanted higher-alcohol beer and didn't want to pay the liquor store markup made special trips to stock up, which is now illegal under state law.

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