Vail summer bookings up as sales dip |

Vail summer bookings up as sales dip

Melanie Wong
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. “Advance bookings in Vail for the early summer months are “gaining strength,” says the Vail Valley Partnerships, a regional chamber of commerce.

Bookings for the month of May are actually up almost 3 percent compared to last year, and June bookings are up 14 percent.

But Vail’s sales tax revenues continued to drop in February, with the month’s numbers down more than 16 percent, compared to 2008, the town reported.

Preliminary estimates show that the town will collect about $2.6 million for February, almost $500,000 less than February 2008 and 10 percent less than what the town expected to collect.

That is a slightly bigger drop than January, when sales tax collections were down 13.5 percent from 2008 levels. Sales taxes are the single largest source of town revenue.

Sales tax revenues for the ski season from November to February are down more than 11 percent, or $1.1 million, from last ski season.

Lift taxes, a tax collected from the resort based on the number of skiers, are also down. February lift tax was down 10.4 percent ” or about $79,000 ” from February 2008. For the entire ski season, revenue from the tax is down 3.6 percent compared to last winter.

Resort research shows that hotel stays at resort lodges ” another indicator of visitor business ” are also following the downward trend. Occupancy numbers at a sampling of ski resort towns, including Vail, were down almost 15 percent for February, according to the Mountain Travel Research Program.

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