Vail sales tax collections down in March |

Vail sales tax collections down in March

VAIL, Colo. ” Some Vail merchants complained about slow business in March. Now there are numbers to back up that claim.

Sales tax collections in Vail dropped more than 25 percent ” almost $900,000 ” in March compared to 2008. Collections fell short of the town’s budget estimates by more than $549,000, or more than 18 percent.

That drop was the steepest recorded in town so far in 2009. But the March drop also reflects a quirk in the Christian calendar: Easter ” traditionally a big week in Vail ” fell in March last year. The holiday fell April 12 this year. Since Easter is seen by many as the dawn of spring, that’s when a lot of people put away their skis and break out their bikes and golf clubs.

Vail sales tax collections dropped by more than $200,000 from April 2007 to April 2008 because of the early holiday last year.

Because Easter can fall between late March and mid-April, many longtime Vail business people think the two months should almost be counted as one.

In ski-season interviews in the last few weeks, Manor Vail general manager Bob McCleary said that while March at the lodge was pretty weak, April business looked stronger than it did last year.

While March was the weakest month in the ski season, the overall numbers aren’t as grim. Overall, Vail sales tax collections are down 14.5 percent for the entire November ” March season.

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