Chamber to ask businesses for daily sales | AspenTimes.com

Chamber to ask businesses for daily sales

Naomi Havlen

Local businesses are going to be asked late this week if they’ll participate in reporting their retail sales each day to find out how special events affect the marketplace.The daily retail sales tracking project is a partnership between the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and the city of Aspen that’s been in the works for the past few months. According to chamber President Debbie Braun, ACRA member businesses will receive a letter this week asking them to participate in the daily surveys, which would be filed confidentially on a weekly basis.”Once a week we’ll send an e-mail to about 50 businesses who say they’ll do it, asking them to go to a website to file their sales figures for Monday through Sunday,” she said. “Then there will be a question like, ‘How did Jazz Aspen Snowmass affect your week?’ to determine what percentage of business can be attributed to the jazz festival.”Just a quarter to half of ACRA’s membership – about 800 local businesses – will be selected for the project. The merchants will be separated into sectors like they are for the city’s monthly sales tax reports, including clothing stores, tourist accommodations, T-shirt stores, food and drug stores, and restaurants and bars, among other categories.”It’s completely anonymous,” Braun said. “If we get 10 people to report in the restaurant sector, we’ll know the results in that sector and never identify individual businesses.”With ACRA’s emphasis on bringing special events to town and “bridging the shoulder seasons” to keep business booming in Aspen over the past few years, Braun noted that it’s important to have actual data about how events affect the marketplace, rather than just anecdotal evidence.”For example, we’ll be able to say that during HBO’s Comedy Fest, the town is full, lodges are doing a lot of business and so are restaurants, but we’re not selling any lift tickets,” she said. Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com