March retail sales nosedive in Aspen |

March retail sales nosedive in Aspen

Aspen’s retail economy took a battering as expected in March, according to a report the city’s Finance Department issued this week.

Revenue amounted to $54.6 million in March, down 43.6% from March 2019.

March is one of the biggest month for retailers, but public health orders shut down nonessentials businesses in the third week in March, while restaurants were relegated to takeout service only, among other restrictions spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s how March shaped up among the 12 retail sectors through which the city collects sales taxes:

• Accommodations — $14.9 million, down 57.5% from March 2019

• Restaurants and bars — $6.7 million, down 59.6%

• Sports equipment/clothing — $3.4 million, down 59.2%

• Clothing —$2.8 million, down 60.2%

• Food/drug — $4.8 million, down 10.7%

• Liquor — $910,071, down 14%

• Miscellaneous — $5.9 million, down 5.4%

• Construction — $6.2 million, down 6.8%

• Luxury goods — $2 million, down 38.3%

• Utilities — $4.9 million, up 8.4%

• Automobile — $1.1 million, up 5.5%

• Marijuana — $900,215, down 41.4%

Through March, Aspen’s retail economy generated $241 million in revenue; that’s 10.7% off the pace of the first quarter of 2019, the report said.

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