March sales sag in Basalt |

March sales sag in Basalt

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Basalt sales tax revenues fell 5 percent in March, according to a report released Thursday by the town finance department.

The town collected $263,129 for sales in March this year compared to $277,472 last year, the report showed. Revenues from March sales are recorded for April because of the delay in collections.

All the major business categories saw sales sag for the month, the report showed. Retail food stores ” which include Basalt’s cash cow, City Market ” were down 1.39 percent.

Sales tax collections from general retail stores fell to $40,529 from $50,401 for the same month last year, a decline of almost 20 percent.

Restaurants with bars saw their sales tumble 35 percent while building materials were off 40 percent.

The economic sectors that showed gains for the month from last year were liquor stores, up 22 percent; sporting retail, up 31 percent; and restaurants without bars, up 4.3 percent.

For the first third of the town’s fiscal year, December through March, sales tax revenues were down 7.6 percent, the town’s report said. The town collected nearly $1.19 million in sales tax revenues over that period compared to $1.28 million for the same period the prior fiscal year.

Sales by supermarkets were flat over the trimester. General retail was off almost 31 percent, as were sales of building materials. Restaurants with bars were down almost 12 percent. Liquor store sales were one of the lone bright spots, with sales up almost 14 percent.

Basalt’s busiest season is the summer, when anglers hit the rivers, boaters flock to Ruedi Reservoir and second-home owners visit the Roaring Fork Club. The town government and chamber of commerce are teaming starting June 6 on a mini-economic stimulus program designed to spur business at shops and restaurants. Shoppers will get a $30 gift certificate when they spend $300.