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Aspen briefs

Aspen Times

Google surveys coming website on Wednesday

On Wednesday, readers of The Aspen Times website will see a modest change.

The Times has entered into an agreement with Google to include consumer surveys on the site. The process is simple: When you click on an article, Google will ask a basic question. There are no wrong answers. Two clicks, and you’re done for the next 24 hours.

To be clear, you don’t have to answer a question every time you access an article. Just once a day. In answer to why the Times is doing this, the reason is that unlike many other paid newspapers, we are structuring our website to not have a paywall and to remain available to all readers. In lieu of charging readers, we have chosen to partner with Google to help offset our costs.


May sales up in Aspen

May is not a big month for Aspen in terms of retail sales, but the city’s consumption tax report shows a healthy uptick in business compared with the same month last year.

Retailers reported $19.36 million, a 7.7 percent increase compared with May 2012’s $17.97 million, according to the monthly report released Wednesday.

There were gains in nearly every sales category, including accommodations (25.8 percent), restaurants and bars (5.4 percent), construction (5.1 percent), general retail (25.4 percent), specialty retail (16.3 percent), jewelry-gallery-fur (33.6 percent) and automobile sales (48.5 percent).

Losses occurred in sports equipment-clothing (20.6 percent) and clothing (4.6 percent).

May generally accounts for between 3 and 4 percent of the entire year’s sales, city Finance Director Don Taylor said in a memorandum accompanying the report.

The city’s 2.1 percent sales tax garnered $420,466, a 5.6 percent increase over the $398,014 collected in May 2012.

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