Beer, wine available at lake for first summer

By Madison McLamb - Bladen Journal intern

WHITE LAKE — In March, White Lake voters passed a referendum allowing for the sale of beer and unfortified wine in the town, changing he landscape of the summer destination spot.

Supporters of the referendum maintained that visitors to White Lake are going to buy beer and unfortified wine in Elizabethtown or they are going to bring it from their home anyway. They assert that White Lake might as well profit from what is already occurring.

Proponents of the referendum argued that its passage would would make conducting business easier for establishment owners, since serving beer and unfortified wine currently requires a cumbersome special use permit. Additionally, they proposed that more businesses would be attracted to the area and that more visitors would come if alcohol were more readily available.

“Yes, we will soon start selling alcohol at our store in hopes to increasing sells,” said Toni Strickland, owner of the H+D supermarket of White Lake. “However, we are not exactly sure when at this time.”

She added that “beer consumption has already been taking place at White Lake for years, so I don’t really see much change coming to the area.”

Police Chief Bruce Smith, agreed.

“We don’t think that there is going to be any change,” he said. “People have always brought it here and they are going to continue, we are just going to keep on doing our job to keep our community as safe as we can.”

Now that the sale of “new” alcohol in the town of White Lake is an option, it’s possible that Elizabethtown stores such as Walmart and Food Lion are going to see a change in their alcohol sales during the lake season.

“I would say no to a change,” said Manager Jeff Preddy of Food Lion, “because the average consumer will continue to shop for their full basket at lower prices at conventional grocery stores. Alcohol sales at White Lake will cater more to convenience and closer to the proximity of the rental and the higher prices will only cater to those not wanting to drive that way.

“People tend to buy everything in one place, so when they’re buying groceries they’ll pick up their alcohol at a cheaper price,” he added.

Madison McLamb can be reached at 910-862-4163.

By Madison McLamb

Bladen Journal intern

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