Aspen’s sales up 4 percent |

Aspen’s sales up 4 percent

Aspen Times Staff Report

Improved early season snow conditions fueled a slight jump in December 2000 sales activity in Aspen and put the cap on a year in which retail sales were up about 4 percent over 1999.

Sales figures for December, tracked by the city’s finance department, indicate sales for the final month of 2000 were up 1.4 percent over sales in December 1999, when the resort was suffering from a lack of snow.

For the year, tourist accommodations were up 6 percent over 1999. With the hotel/lodging category making up the largest percentage of overall sales in Aspen – nearly 29 percent in 2000 – the increase is significant.

Tempering that gain, though, was a 3 percent drop in sales at restaurants and bars, which make up the second largest segment of the resort’s economy. Restaurant and bar business accounted for 17.7 percent of the total retail sales in Aspen in 2000, according to finance department tabulations.

For the month of December, tourist accommodations were up .7 percent over 1999, while restaurants/bars showed a 6 percent drop in receipts.

Clothing store sales, which accounted for 9.8 percent of the overall retail sales in Aspen last year, were up .9 percent for the year, but were down .2 percent in December, compared to December 1999.

Grocery and drugstore sales, which also accounted for 9.8 percent of total sales last year, were up .8 percent in 2000.

In other categories, specialty retail sales, which accounted for 8.3 percent of the total sales in Aspen last year, were up 5.2 percent over 1999, while general retail sales, which accounted for 6.9 percent of the total, were up 13.4 percent over 1999. General retail sales were up 16.4 percent for December 2000, compared to the same month in 1999, while specialty retail sales were up 3.8 percent.

Utilities, accounting for 6.7 percent of overall sales last year, were up 7.5 percent over 1999. Sports equipment/clothing sales were up 5.9 percent in 2000 and saw an 11 percent jump in December 2000, compared to the prior year. The category accounted for 6.6 percent of the total sales last year.

Overall taxable sales for 2000 totaled $400.9 million, according to the finance department tally.

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