Aspen retail economy stays its strong course for 2016 | AspenTimes.com

Aspen retail economy stays its strong course for 2016

Staff report

Retailers in Aspen saw a 3 percent bump in sales in October over October 2015, according to the city's monthly consumption tax report issued Monday.

The traditionally soft month, which the city said on average accounts for 7 percent of overall sales during the calendar year, generated $30.6 million in revenue.

Leading the way were hotels and lodges, which accounted for $5.7 million of that total, a 7 percent improvement over October 2015. Restaurants and bars rang up nearly $5 million in sales, a 6 percent slip from the same month last year.

Other industries posted the following sales figures in October:

• Sports equipment/clothing: $1.3 million, up 22 percent.

• Clothing: $1.9 million, down 15 percent.

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• Food and drug: $3.2 million, up 6 percent.

• Liquor and marijuana: $977,178, down 1 percent.

• General retail: $1.6 million, up 35 percent.

• Construction: $4.2 million, down 5 percent.

• Luxury goods: $881,234, up 18 percent.

• Utilities: $2.7 million, down 2 percent.

• Automobile: $1.7 million, up 63 percent.

• Miscellaneous: $1.4 million, down 9 percent.

From January through October, more than $577 million in total retail sales were generated in Aspen (see box). That figure eclipsed last year's total through the first 10 months by 6 percent, the report said.

Sales tax collections also have exceeded expectations by the city, which budgeted for $11.7 million from January through October. The city collected $12.1 million for that period this year, compared with $11.4 million for the same period last year, according to the report.

The city has budgeted for $14.3 million in sales tax collections for the entire year, with December forecast to be the biggest month with nearly $2.1 million generated.

The city's lodging tax collections also are humming along.

In October, city coffers drew $93,057 from its 2 percent tax that guests pay to stay in Aspen lodging accommodations.

The city collected $2.8 million in lodging tax revenue from January through October.

Funds from the lodging tax benefit the city's tourist promotion efforts as well as transportation.

Ringing it up Revenue

The chart below breaks down how Aspen’s retail industries performed from January through October, which generated more than $577 million in sales.

Category January-October sales Change from 2015

Lodges $166.9 million 8%

Restaurants/bars $106.9 million 5%

Sports equipment/clothing $36.7 million 4%

Clothing $46.8 million (2%)

Food and drug $44.5 million 5%

Liquor and marijuana $16.7 million 11%

General retail $21.3 million 16%

Construction $43.8 million 12%

Luxury goods $20.2 million (12%)

Utilities $35.9 million 2%

Automobile $18.5 million 3%

Misc. $19 million 22%

Total $577.1 million 6%

Source: Finance Department, city of Aspen

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