Both Aspen and Snowmass Village saw healthy retail-sales increases in August compared with the same month last year.
Notable tourism events during the month included the first two stages of the USA Pro Challenge bicycle race on Aug. 19 and 20 and the annual Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day music extravaganza, which started at the end of the month. Though Aspen served as one of several host cities for the seven-leg Pro Challenge race in 2011 and 2012, the event made use of roads in the Snowmass area for the first time this year, and the vast majority of the race’s entourage stayed in Snowmass hotels.
Aspen’s retail sales in August totaled $53.2 million, a 7.3 percent increase over $49.6 million recorded for the same month last year, according to the city’s monthly consumption tax report released Thursday. The $53.2 million figure is a likely record for retail sales during the month of August in Aspen. The city also hit a monthly sales record in July this year.
Snowmass Village — which saw increased lodging occupancy rates due to the two events and the reopening of the Westin and Wildwood hotel properties that were closed for renovations in 2012 — realized sales of around $8.1 million, a 15 percent increase over August 2012’s $7 million. Those retail-sales figures are estimates based on the city’s 1 percent sales tax totals provided by the town of Snowmass Village’s Finance Department.
In Aspen, retail categories posting large gains included accommodations (19 percent), clothing (13 percent) and sports equipment (11 percent). Industries with large declines included utilities (9 percent), general retail (6 percent) and construction (5 percent).
Also in August, restaurants and bars posted a 6 percent increase and liquor sales experienced a 4 percent increase.
For the first eight months of the year, Aspen’s retail sales have totaled $395.6 million, a 6 percent increase compared with the January-to-August period in 2012.