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July is kind to Aspen retailers

Staff report
Wendy Kunkle wipes the inside of a hat with a Clorox wipe in Kemosabe on Friday, May 29.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

ringing it up in July

A report issued this week showed that Aspen’s retail economy fared much better than expected in July. Here’s how retail sectors performed that month.

Accommodations $19,833,911 -21.2%

Restaurants & Bars $16,315,458 +9.4%

Sports Equip/Clothing $5,176,890 +23.7%

Clothing $8,302,515 -13.4%

Food & Drug $6,998,042 +3.5%

Liquor $1,613,938 +26.8%

Miscellaneous $7,094,866 -1.7%

Construction $5,996,278 +12.6%

Luxury Goods $4,995,671 -19.9%

Utilities $2,735,517 -11.2%-

Automobile $2,322,960 -1.4%

Marijuana $1,355,598 +6.1%

Total $82,741,643 -8.6%

Source: City of Aspen, Finance Department

Aspen’s retail economy produced $82.7 million in sales in July and surpassed the city’s projections that the month would essentially amount to a bust.

Retails sales “were down 8.6% relative to the same period in 2019, which was better than the forecasted decline of 38%,” according the city Finance Department’s monthly Consumption Tax Report issued Tuesday.

Missing from Aspen in July due to the pandemic were the traditional Fourth of July festivities including a downtown parade, and summer attractions such as Aspen Music Festival and the Ideas Festival.

“July as a month accounts for roughly 10.6% of the year’s total sales tax and typically includes high tourism traffic for large events around the Fourth of July holiday,” the report noted.

Most sectors saw less business in July than July 2019; accommodations dropped 21.2%, for example. July also marked the first entire month that hotels and lodges in Pitkin County could operate at full capacity since the pandemic broke in mid-March. The county allowed full-capacity June 26 following a 50% restriction that was in place.

Through July, Aspen retailers generated $416.9 million in sales, down 15.2% from the first seven months of 2019, according to the report.


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