Join the effort
July 17, 2002
I applaud Barry Gordon’s efforts to organize a retail merchants association. A united retailers association would be a powerful force to reckon with.
As a marketing supplier to retailers, I encourage all retailers to join together in an effort to stem the loss of Aspen’s boutique retail environment.
Unprecedented and unsustainable rents juxtaposed with a diminishing bed base are forcing retailers out of business. Comments from visitors support their dissatisfaction with the dwindling boutique retail market that Aspen was once famous for.
As a group, retailers have an opportunity to work with the city which, along with the rest of our community, is suffering greatly from the lack of sales tax previously generated from retail sales.
It is time that a retail core be defined both geographically and economically. An economic model should be developed that defines a minimum return of sales tax per square foot of street level business within the core area.
Our city’s diminishing ability to fund projects should ameliorate any trepidation on the part of politicians and voters.
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Perhaps we sweeten the pot. Create an incentive for landlords. Share any tax revenues generated over the prescribed minimum. This incentive should likely create more retail spaces at affordable rates.
By sharing in excess tax revenue, landlords should help to mitigate the lower rental base while contributing to a revitalized, diverse, exciting and economically healthy downtown core.