Rifle sales suck taxes from Glenwood Springs
That mysterious loud sucking noise emanating from the lower Roaring Fork valley has turned out to be sales tax dollars leaving Glenwood Springs for Rifle.
A Super Wal-Mart opened in the town of Rifle in November. Coincidentally, Glenwood’s sales tax revenues have dropped by more than 10 percent over the same period, according to city officials.
“It means we’re no longer king of the valley,” Glenwood Springs City Manager Mike Copp said.
Glenwood, however, anticipated the drop in sales tax revenues and budgeted a 10 percent decline in 2004. Copp believes the situation is temporary. “If we don’t panic, we’ll be OK,” he said.
The city might have to delay some projects this year and next, but there’s a good chance sales tax revenues will bounce back starting in late 2005, Copp said. A huge development project in West Glenwood includes two major anchor stores. The developer is working with Lowe’s and Target to fill those spaces. If successful, Glenwood could reclaim its place as the regional shopping powerhouse.
Glenwood’s stores have attracted shoppers for years from throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, the Eagle Valley and Interstate 70 corridor. Aspenites regularly make runs to Wal-Mart and Kmart. Copp said he doesn’t think that’s changed, but the Super Wal-Mart does have the advantage of offering groceries.
The opening of the Super Wal-Mart in Rifle makes its biggest impact within the I-70 corridor, Copp said. Shoppers from the Rifle and Silt areas are less likely to come to Glenwood and more likely to stick closer to home.