As expected, Aspen businesses took a hit in February |

As expected, Aspen businesses took a hit in February

Staff Report

Aspen’s retail economy limped through February with a 20.3% drop in taxable sales from the same month last year, according to the city’s monthly tax consumption report issued Tuesday.

“While feedback from the business community has improved in the month of March and are anticipated to reflect more positively in next month’s reporting, February still reflected an economy that was constricted by tighter public health orders as COVID cases escalated after the holidays,” wrote Anthony Lewin, the city’s senior tax auditor, in the report.

Retail sales amounted to $70.8 million in February, with the city also collecting nearly $3.3 million in sales taxes, which was a 21.2% decrease from February 2020.

(City of Aspen Finance Department)

The lodging industry took the biggest hit among Aspen’s sectors in February, generating $17.2 million in revenue and plummeting 49% from from February 2020. Restaurants also struggled, seeing business down 31.9% with sales of $11.9 million in February.

Some sectors, however, enjoyed a solid second month of 2021.

“A few industries have seen increases over last year, most notably automobile sales which were up 120.3% and construction which was up 54.4%,“ Lewin reported. ”Luxury items within the jewelry/gallery industry also increased 39.2% for the same period.“

January and February recorded $133.2 million in taxable sales and are paced 27.2% behind the first two months of 2020, according to the report.

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