Aspen retailers break $800 million sales barrier in 2019 | AspenTimes.com

Aspen retailers break $800 million sales barrier in 2019

Staff report
Aspen’s construction sector accounted for $70.3 million in 2019, up 20.6% over 2018. Overall, Aspen businesses generated $818.8 million in 2019, a 7.5% increase over 2018, according to the city Finance Department’s year-end consumption report issued Friday. Shown above is work being done on a downtown boutique hotel currently being developed by Mark Hunt.
Rick Carroll/The Aspen Times

On the upswing

Retailers in Aspen saw overall sales increase $60 million in 2019 over 2018, the largest annual increase by dollar amount over the last five years.

2019 $819,757,641

2018 $759,597,078

2017 $730,414,351

2016 $713,876,169

2015 $666,049,387

Source: Finance Department, city of Aspen

Fueled by a strong December to close out the year, retailers in Aspen saw a 7.5% increase in sales over 2018, according to a report issued Friday.

All told, retailers generated $818.8 million in revenue in 2019, with 10 of the 12 business sectors posting gains last year. It was the first year that Aspen retailers combined to eclipse the $800 million mark in sales.

Luxury goods, which accounted for $38.5 million in sales, had the largest year-to-year improvement of 28.1%. The construction trade saw $70.3 million in revenue, up 20.6% over 2018, according to the report.

Industries recording losses in 2019 were utilities and automobile, which saw their respective sales drop by 1% and 3%.

Those and other nuggets are part of the city of Aspen Finance Department’s Consumption Tax Report for all of 2019, as well as the month of December.

December alone was up 7.2% over December 2018, as retailers rang up $118.6 million in sales during the holiday month, which accounted for approximately 14.7% of the year’s total revenue, the report said.

The entire 2019 broke down as follows:

• Accommodations — $236 million, up 6.8% over 2018

• Restaurants/bars — $139.9 million, up 5.4%

• Sports equipment/clothing — $52.8 million, up 4.5%

• Clothing — $63.9 million, up 5.8%

• Food/drug — $59.6 million, up 4.2%

• Liquor — $10.9 million, up 1.8%

• Miscellaneous — $71.9 million, up 11.2%

• Construction — $70.3 million, up 20.6%

• Luxury goods — $38.5 million, up 28.1%

• Utilities — $45.6 million, down 1%

• Automobile — $19.4 million, down 3%

• Marijuana — $11.9 million, up 1.6%

The boost also was good for the city’s 2.1% sales tax coffers, which hauled in $17.2 million in 2019. Not only was that 8.5% more than the $15.9 million the city collected in 2018, but it also was higher than the city’s budget forecast of $16.3 million in 2019, according to the report.

In December alone, retailers enjoyed an overall revenue increase of 7.2% over December 2018 by recording $118.6 million in sales, with eight of the four industries posting gains.

Here’s how December shaped up for the individual retail sectors:

• Accommodations — $36.2 million, up 3.1% over December 2018

• Restaurants/bars — $15.9 million, up 4.4%

• Sports equipment/clothing — $11.3 million, up 7.4%

• Clothing — $9.4 million, up 4.7%

• Food/drug — $8.3 million, down 2.6%

• Liquor —$1.6 million, down 0.5%

• Miscellaneous — $10.9 million, up 6.2%

• Construction — $10 million, up 30.7%

• Luxury goods — $7.8 million, up 38.9%

• Utilities — $5 million, up 2.9%

• Automobile — $1.1 million, down 0.5%

• Marijuana — $1.1 million, down 7.8%



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