Sales up in June, bookings pacing ahead for summer
The sales tax report for June is out and Snowmass Village’s overall revenue rose 15.4 percent for the month, which also saw an increase in lodging guests.
The town Finance Department breaks down sales tax revenue by industry category, and the most notable change in June was in the food, drug and liquor sector, which saw a 139.6 percent jump from the same month last year. That could largely be attributed to the fact that Clark’s Market, the only grocery store in the village, was closed for a remodel through June last year, but even compared to 2013, the revenue in that category almost doubled.
Events in June this year included the Ragnar Trail race, Mammoth Fest, and the addition of two outdoor events during Food & Wine weekend, when occupancy also rose above 80 percent, said Rose Abello, director of Snowmass Tourism. Snowmass also hosted lots of group business in June.
“We had probably as many groups as you could have in June,” Abello said.
But while occupancy increased by 12.2 percent, it still only averaged out to about 41 percent for the month, according to a report issued by DestiMetrics last month.
“Occupancy continues to have this heartbeat — weekends, non-weekends,” Abello said. “Our biggest opportunity is that Monday to Thursday stay. We’ve moved the needle a lot, but there is still room to grow.”
The addition of more events the past two summers has at the very least increased vitality, Abello noted. The free concert series has been packed most nights, and events like the Sunday Family Fun Day provide something for families staying in the village to do.
David Dugan, partner at Base Camp Bar & Grill and Slice, agreed. While he said he didn’t think the numbers at the restaurants would match the increase reported — the restaurant sector saw an increase of 16.9 percent, according to the sales tax report — he said that was due to the rainy weather this summer and that they’d be in much worse shape without events and groups.
“When it rains, it hurts our business,” Dugan said. “We’d probably be seeing a huge impact if not for the events. (And) the group people have done a really good job.”
While events such as Grand Cochon and Heritage Fire don’t pull more people to restaurants because they serve their own food and beer, Dugan still sees them as positive for the community.
“I don’t have a problem with that because there’s a bigger picture,” he said. “Things like that help put Snowmass on the map.”
While the final occupancy report for July had not been released by DestiMetrics as of press time, it was said to be pacing ahead as of mid-month. Over the Fourth of July weekend, because of the holiday and the Wanderlust yoga festival, Snowmass Village hotels have been over 90 percent full the past two years. The weekend of Tough Mudder, this year on Sept. 12-13, is almost completely booked already, Abello said.
Other industry sectors that saw increases in June were lodging, 5.9 percent; sports equipment and clothing, 5.1 percent; and utilities, 3.9 percent. Categories that saw decreases were general retail, 2.3 percent; special events, 56.2 percent; and miscellaneous, 35.6 percent.
The special events category sometimes includes sales tax revenue from vendors at events like Mammoth Fest and others, but if those are local businesses they might report their revenue with their regular business, said Finance Director Marianne Rakowski. That can make it difficult to draw conclusions about trends in that category.
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