Aspen’s April retail sales up 4.3 percent |

Aspen’s April retail sales up 4.3 percent

ASPEN – April is one of the slowest months of the year in terms of Aspen’s retail sales and sales-tax collections.

But despite that fact – as well as this year’s lack of late-season snow to lure skiers and snowboarders to local mountains during the first week of the month – the city’s businesses performed fairly well in April, collectively posting a 4.3 percent sales gain compared with the same month last year.

According to the city of Aspen’s monthly Consumption Tax Report released Wednesday, April sales totaled $21.25 million, an $880,000 increase over April 2011’s $20.37 million.

Gains were recorded in the category of accommodations – local government’s term for hotel and lodge bookings – which saw a 9.9 percent increase compared with the same month last year. Sales increases also were posted in the areas of sports equipment-clothing (13.6 percent), clothing (30.8 percent), food and drug (10.6 percent), general retail (31.7 percent), specialty retail (10.6 percent) and automobiles (29.5 percent).

The following categories experienced decreases compared with April 2011: restaurants-bars (2.8 percent), construction (12.3 percent), jewelry-gallery-fur (39.4 percent) and utilities (3.8 percent). Liquor-store sales were relatively flat.

For the first four months of 2012, businesses reported $206.77 million in sales, a 9.5 percent increase when compared to the $188.84 million recorded during last year’s January-to-April period.

The city of Aspen collected $439,695 from its 2.1 percent sales tax in April, a slight decrease compared with April 2011. Sometimes tax collections lag behind actual sales because businesses file or pay late.

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