Aspen retailers up 6 percent in April, 4 percent for the year
Despite an off-winter for snowfall, Aspen retailers still were up 4 percent in revenue for the first four months of the year. The following chart breaks down how each retail segment performed from January through April.
Category Sales Change from 2017
Accommodations$94.7 million Even
Restaurants/bars $48.7 million Even
Sports equipment/clothing $23.5 million 3%
Clothing $20.1 million (1%)
Food/drug $18.2 million 1%
Liquor $3.6 million 2%
Miscellaneous $17.1 million 30%
Construction $18.1 million 29%
Luxury goods $9.1 million (4%)
Utilities $18.8 million 9%
Automobile $6.3 million 6%
Marijuana $4.6 million 9%
Total $282.7 million 4%
Aspen’s 12 retail sectors combined to haul in $29.4 million in sales in April, outpacing the same month in 2017 by 6 percent.
The April figures, released Wednesday by the city’s Finance Department in its monthly sales tax consumption report, bumped the first four months of retail sales up to $282.7 million, a 4 percent improvement over January through April of 2017.
Industries posting the biggest gains in April were miscellaneous, up 45 percent to $2.8 million; construction, up 14.1 percent to $4.2 million; utilities, up 19 percent to $4.2 million; and automobile, up 16 percent to $1.6 million.
The largest losses were suffered by luxury goods, down 56 percent to $582,315, and clothing, down 19 percent to $1.6 million.
Through this year’s first four months, the city has collected $5.9 million in sales taxes. That’s 1 percent more than city projections and 5 percent ahead of the $5.7 million brought in during the same period of 2017, according to the report.
January and March have been the top performing months of the year so far, with the city collecting $1.8 million — those are rounded-up figures — each month, according to the report. April, as expected, has been the lowest performer with the city collecting $671,525. On average April accounts for roughly 4.3 percent of the year’s total sales tax receipts.
The four Aspen-area ski mountains, hampered by low snow totals, all closed for the season in April — Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk on the 8th, and Aspen Mountain and Snowmass on the 15th.
The city’s 1.5 percent lodging tax, meanwhile, has accounted for $1.2 million in collections from January through April. That’s 2 percent below budget and 1 percent ahead of last year’s pace for the same period. Proceeds from the tax are use to support tourism promotion, which the Aspen Chamber Resort Association has handled on a yearly basis since the tax’s inception.
The other portion of the lodging tax, at 0.5 percent, supports city transportation services. Through April it had reaped $407,145, 2 percent below budget and up 1 percent over last year.
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.