Aspen retail sales down 15 percent in June, city reports
August 7, 2009
ASPEN – Retail sales in Aspen were down 15 percent in June, compared to the same month a year ago, according to figures released Friday by the city finance office.Sales in virtually every sector of the retail economy showed a decline in June, despite events like the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, a scaled-back Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival and the kickoff to the Aspen Music Festival season.The June drop in sales comes on the heels of a 10 percent decline for the month of May. For the first half of the year, sales were down 19 percent, according to the report, which is based on sales tax collections. “Aspen continues to feel the effects of the declining national economy and recession,” wrote Don Taylor, finance director.Sales tax collections in June were down 14 percent, and lodging tax collections dipped 8 percent for the month, compared to June 2008.Tourist-oriented sectors of the retail industry did not fare well in June, Taylor noted. Tourist accommodations, sports equipment and clothing, clothing stores and specialty retail were all down, but so was almost everything else. Those four categories make up about half of overall sales, Taylor said.Tourist accommodations were down 15 percent and restaurant/bar business was off pace by 14 percent in June. Sports equipment/clothing was down 25 percent and clothing/T-shirt sales were down 12 percent, according to the report.For the first sixth months of the year, tourist accommodations were down 24 percent and restaurant/bar receipts were down 14 percent. Sports equipment clothing and clothing/T-shirt sales were both down 24 percent for the year so far.Overall, June sales totaled $32.7 million, according to the report. Total sales for the first half of the year stood at $223.3 million.Collections from two real estate transfer taxes, levied on real estate sales, were down 6 percent and 8 percent through July, compared to last year.”The Aspen real estate market continues to feel the effects of a weak national real estate market,” Taylor wrote.