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August flat for Aspen retailers but well ahead of projections

Staff report

Taxing times

Aspen retailers were down 12% in revenue for the first eight months of 2020. Here’s a breakdown of each sector’s performance from January through August.

Sector Sales dollars Percent change

Accommodations $126.7 million (26.7%)

Restaurants/bars $85.3 million (16.6%)

Sports equip/clothing $35.1 million (2.1%)

Clothing $35.6 million (20.8%)

Food & Drug $37.2 million (7.3%)

Liquor $8.7 million 16.5%

Miscellaneous $45.1 million 4.8%

Construction $39.7 million (5.9%)

Luxury goods $26.4 million 8.7%

Utilities $31.1 million 0.2%

Automobile $12.8 million (7.2%)

Marijuana $7.6 million (13.7%)

Total $491.4 million (13.3%)

Source: Finance Department, city of Aspen

Taxable retail sales of $74 million in August were 1.5% behind the pace set in the same month 2019 but well ahead of the city of Aspen’s adjusted budget projections made in March and again in July because of the pandemic.

The city’s Finance Department had budgeted for a 40% nosedive in August, but its monthly sales consumption report issued Thursday showed things weren’t as dire as predicted.

Aspen’s work-play behavior is shown in retail sectors that posted gains in August, including sales of sporting equipment and clothing ($4.5 million, up 28.4%), liquor ($1.5 million, up 32.8%), and marijuana ($1.4 million, up 5.6%). Other industries showing an improved August were automobile ($2.7 million, up 50.5%), luxury goods ($4.8 million, up 44.4%), utilities ($3.2 million, up 10.4%) and miscellaneous ($6.9 million, up 13.3%).



The accommodations business continued to lag, registering $18 million in revenue, which was 12% off August 2019. Restaurants and bars brought in $15.2 million, down 4.8%; while the food-and-drug trade accounted for $4.1 million in August sales, a 33.9% decrease from August 2019. Clothing ($7 million, down 5.5%) and construction ($4.8 million, down 5%) also were off the pace from the same month last year.

From January through August, Aspen retailers brought in $491.4 million, which is 12% behind the first eight months of 2018.

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