Aspen retail sales up 7 percent in September | AspenTimes.com

Aspen retail sales up 7 percent in September

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

City of AspenThis chart shows how much each Aspen retail category contributes to total sales for the year, through September.

ASPEN – Retail sales in Aspen are up 4 percent for the first three quarters of the year, according to the latest report from the city finance office.

The report “suggests Aspen’s economy is improving,” said Don Taylor, finance director.

For the month of September alone, sales were up 7 percent.

September weather in Aspen was stellar, with warm, clear days and an extended season of leaf peeping that apparently drew visitors. Accommodations for the month were up a whopping 42 percent, compared to September 2009, according to the report. Restaurant/bar business, however, slipped 2 percent for the month.

For the year so far, tourist accommodations were up 6 percent through September, and restaurant/bar receipts were up 1 percent. Together, the two categories typically make up close to half of overall retail sales for the year.

About half of the categories tracked by the city showed gains for the month of September, according to the report. General retail sales were up 11 percent, and specialty retail posted a 9 percent increase. Liquor sales were up 3 percent The miscellaneous category was up 66 percent, and jewelry/gallery/fur sales were up 48 percent, but both categories make up a small piece of overall sales.

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For the year, specialty retail sales were up 20 percent, clothing receipts were up 6 percent, and jewelry/gallery/fur sales were up 16 percent.

Automobile sales tax receipts are collected by Pitkin County and turned over to the city. Sales in the category (previously part of general retail) are up 7 percent for the year.

Lodging tax collections were up 10 percent through September, compared to 2009, according to the city.

Retail sales for the first three quarters of the year totaled $357.5 million, according to the report. For the month of September, sales totaled $33 million.

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