Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport offers liquor to go
It’s no secret that many Las Vegas visitors, including those who go there to work or attend conventions, intend to party.
Now, many of the more than 21 million visitors who fly to Sin City each year can get the party started at the airport.
The Liquor Library, opened earlier this month and located in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1, offers beer, wine, liquor, packaged snacks and cups, ice and mixers. Travelers can get their party essentials before their checked bags even hit the carousels.
Many travelers are familiar with post-security, duty-free liquor stores accessible only to passengers flying on international itineraries. This airport liquor store is open to all, collects sales and liquor taxes and is believed to be the first of its kind in a domestic airport.
“Essentially, we offer most of what any liquor store would,” Liquor Library marketing director Diane Boyle told NBC News, “Just in a much more traveler friendly location.”
Because the retail space is small – just 1,400 square feet – the Liquor Library designers decided to stack the stock on tall “bookshelves” which are accessed by “librarians” (a.k.a. sales clerks) who will climb up and down rolling, library-style ladders to retrieve customers' orders.
“Our librarians wear charcoal grey pencil skirts, white button down shirts, black stockings and very cute spectacles while working on the sales floor,” Boyle said.
The employee uniforms may be charming, but the daily in-store tastings, hosted by different brands, may also help fuel sales.
During its first week of operation, the store hit its mark for projected sales of spirits, with Grey Goose, Kettle One, Jack Daniel's and Kinky Vodka among the best sellers. Boyle said the beer is “flying off the shelves,” but there’s also been a brisk business in the sale of higher-end champagnes and wine, such as Dom Perignon, Veuve Cliquot, Duckhorn and Silver Oak.
There are, of course, plenty (maybe too many) of places to buy liquor in Las Vegas, but even travelers on vacation may find themselves pressed for time or unwilling to leave their hotel or the casino in search of a local liquor store.
“That is why airports continue to upgrade facilities and add convenient services for arriving and departing passengers,” said Deborah McElroy, executive vice president, policy and external affairs for Airports Council International-North America, a membership group for airports.
“That includes nail salons, dry cleaners, pet hotels and now a way to avoid making one more stop on the way from the airport.”