Aspen retail sales take dive in April
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado – Aspen retail sales took a 16 percent dive in April and were down 20 percent for the first four months of the year, according to the city’s latest consumption tax report.
Sales tax collections in April were down 14 percent, compared to the same month a year ago, according to the city finance office.
Tourist-oriented business did not fare well in April, which marked the close of the ski season, the report noted. Sports equipment and clothing, clothing stores, specialty retail and tourist accommodations were all down for the month. Together, they make up about half of the city’s annual retail sales, according to the report.
For the month, lodging receipts were down 19 percent and restaurant/bar business was off last year’s pace by 15 percent. Sports equipment/clothing sales were down 10 percent and clothing sales were down 13 percent, compared to April 2008.
Only grocery and drug sales posted a gain in April – up 3 percent from the same month last year. Utilities broke even.
Overall April sales totaled $19.9 million, down 16 percent from April 2008.
For the first four months of the year, overall retail sales totaled $174.7 million, down 20 percent from the same period last year. Tourist accommodations were down 25 percent for the year so far, and restaurant/bar business was down 14 percent. Sports equipment/clothing sales were down 24 percent for the first four months of the year, and clothing sales were off by 26 percent. Food and drug sales were down 4 percent for the four-month period, liquor receipts were down 9 percent and utilities were down 2 percent. No sector of the retail economy posted a gain for the period.
Aspen sales tax reporting lags by about a month. The numbers for May will be available in early July.
A survey showed a good bit of support for local government action to bolster workforce housing in town. For now though, that support stops at supporting a new tax for funding.