January sales in Aspen up more than 3 percent
March 8, 2014
Aspen businesses collectively got off to a good start to 2014.
The city of Aspen's monthly consumption tax report, released Thursday, shows that retailers on the whole garnered $69.64 million in January, a 3.3 percent increase compared with $67.45 million during the same month last year.
Most retail categories fared well. Restaurants and bars were up 6.9 percent, raking in $12.1 million compared with $11.3 million in January 2013. Accommodations, the category representing hotels and lodges, was more than $1 million higher, climbing from $22.8 million in the first month of last year to $23.9 million, a 4.8 percent increase.
The sector of sports equipment- clothing experienced a 12.5 percent increase, rising from $6 million to $6.8 million. Construction was 21.8 percent higher, jumping from $2.1 million to $2.6 million. The jewelry-gallery-fur category — which didn't fare so well in December — saw a 10.8 percent uptick, increasing from $1.1 million to $1.2 million.
Declines occurred in the categories of general clothing (4.4 percent), food and drug (10.2 percent), general retail (19.1 percent) and specialty retail (6.2 percent). Liquor sales were less than 1 percent higher.
January generally accounts for 14 to 16 percent of the entire year's retail sales and sales tax collections, according to a memorandum from Aspen Finance Director Don Taylor to the City Council.
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But it pales when compared with the previous month. December is the city's biggest month for retail sales, and the most recent December saw Aspen businesses garnering $83.9 million, nearly a 10 percent increase when stacked against the same month in 2012. January or March is usually the second-highest sales month, the Finance Department has said.
The city's 2.1 percent sales tax generated $1.43 million in January, a 3 percent increase when compared with January 2013's $1.39 million.