Retail sales climb 9.7 percent in November | AspenTimes.com

Retail sales climb 9.7 percent in November

Aspen Times Staff

Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Aspen’s retail sales jumped 9.7 percent in November, according to the latest figures released by the city finance office, but the jump isn’t terribly significant. November is one of the three slowest months of the year for the resort, noted Finance Director Paul Menter.

For the first 11 months of 2006, retail sales were up 6.4 percent over 2005; the December numbers ” and the year-end tally, won’t be available until early February because of the lag in sales tax reporting.

Though November is a slow month, tourist accommodations were up a whopping 34.8 percent, and restaurant/bar business posted a 12.7 percent gain over the same month in 2005. Together, the two sectors account for nearly half of overall, annual sales.

Sports/equipment clothing sales were up 19.9 percent for November ” a month that brought the Thanksgiving weekend opening of the slopes on Aspen Mountain and at Snowmass, as well as women’s World Cup racing in Aspen. General clothing sales, however, were down nearly 6 percent.

Among other large categories, general retail was up 3.9 percent, but specialty retail was down 14.7 percent. Utilities were up 8.8 percent, and food and drug sales were up 5.4 percent.

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Historically, the city has collected 86 percent of its total annual sales tax and lodging tax revenue by the close of November, according to Menter. Based on this year’s totals, the city will end 2006 with about 6 percent growth in sales tax and a 9 percent increase in lodging tax over 2005.

Retail sales in November totaled $20.8 million; overall sales for 2006, through November, totaled $405.1 million.

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