Snowmass sales sizzle in July |

Snowmass sales sizzle in July

Catherine Lutz
Snowmass Village Correspondent

Sales tax collections were up more than 20 percent in July over the same time last year, Snowmass’ strongest summer month in three years.

A steadily improving business climate has prevailed the last few months, putting the town 7.34 percent ahead of where it was in 2003.

For much of last winter, Aspen seemed to be ahead of Snowmass in its economic rebound. But now the two towns are almost neck and neck in their upswings ” after seven months retail sales are up 7.9 percent in Aspen, compared to Snowmass’ 7.34 percent rise in sales tax collections.

Many locals cite a packed calendar of special events for Snowmass’ good fortunes this summer. Although the inaugural year of Michael Martin Murphy’s Westfest, over Fourth of July weekend, was deemed a bust, many retailers were happy with business in general for the holiday.

The second weekend of July saw hundreds of mountain bikers in town for the Blast the Mass race series; new events such as Massive Music and Movies, the Snowmass Wellness Experience and (an upgraded) Snowmagical Family Festival rounded out the month.

“We got busy the weekend of the Fourth of July and stayed busy through Labor Day,” said Robby Pastore of Taste of Philly. “It just seemed to be busier on the weekends ” there were lots of events, more on the schedule. Last summer if nothing was going on it was dead, and it almost warranted not being open. I’d like to see every weekend filled next year.”

Pastore and others saw a flurry of business during the NORBA mountain bike races ” a regional race in July and a national one in August.

“The bike races were a boost to us; I wish we could have one once a month,” said Gene Taylor Sports manager PJ Smith. “All in all it was a good summer. The whole activities thing is finally kicking in. It took a little while with the changeover from the SRA” to the marketing and special events board.

“But business is definitely up from the previous year.”

Catherine Lutz, staff writer for the Snowmass Sun, can be reached at