Other businesses hope to benefit from Loudon liquor store

LOUDON (WATE) -- After voters passed a referendum last year, people will soon be able to buy bottled liquor in Loudon County.

One of the first new liquor stores will be built off I-75 at exit 72 in Loudon right next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell at 12395 Highway 72.

Right now there's not much there, just fast food, gas stations and a couple of hotels. But workers at some of those places say they're now hoping for a business boom.

The Country Inn and Suites in Loudon is busy, but employees see it getting even busier once 72 Wine and Spirits opens on the other side of the highway.

"A lot of customers that are coming in are always asking for where they can buy liquor. I always have to tell them you can buy beer at the Shell station, but not liquor," says front desk worker Carol Radcliffe.

At Valley Mart across the street, employees say any reason people have to stop at this exit means more money for everyone here. 

"I think it will generate some local traffic and hopefully stimulate the local economy," says employee Donita Koehler.

She too gets a lot of out-of-town customers unhappy about having to drive 20 minutes for a drink.

"They'll ask where the liquor store is in town. I tell them soon! Usually I'll send them up to Watt Road because that's the closest one," Koehler says.

72 Wine and Spirits could be open as soon as July 1st.