Vail Valley sales taxes holding up |

Vail Valley sales taxes holding up

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Chris Manning’s business is up, a little, this year. But he’s working harder to stay ahead.

It’s been a weird year for local businesses. A national economic slowdown, combined with an early Easter, snow in June and soaring gasoline prices have put dampers on sales tax collections in April and June. But revenue so far is still coming in faster than either the town of Vail or Eagle County planners had anticipated.

Manning, co-owner of the Swedish Clog Cabin in Lionhead, said his business has been like that of many of his neighbors this year ” a mixed bag. Easter fell on March 23 this year, almost as early as it can come. That early spring holiday hit businesses even harder than people expected.

Last winter’s record snowfall didn’t stop until about the second week of June, which put the brakes on what’s usually a slow month, too.

“I was probably down in June,” Manning said. “But that’s like being down in October. I don’t get too stressed about it.”

While the Clog Cabin is hanging in there, revenue-wise,” Manning said he’s working harder to keep the cash registers ringing this year.

“We’re trying to be more creative,” Manning said. “We’re doing more fairs on the weekends.”

With the hard work, and despite the mixed messages, sales tax revenue for both Vail and Eagle County is running ahead of projections. That still isn’t a lot of money, though.

In Vail, year-to-date figures ” through the end of June ” are about $356,000, or 3 percent, more than the town expected to get. That means the numbers are running about 6 percent ahead of last year.

County officials didn’t expect any big leaps in revenue, either. Countywide, collections are running about 2 percent over budget estimates.

“We budgeted a 3 percent revenue increase for the year,” county finance director John Lewis said. “So we’re up about 5 percent overall.”

Given the up-and-down nature of the year so far, no one’s willing to venture a guess about the months to come.

“With good snow, we’re probably on track,” Lewis said.

And in Vail, Manning just hopes there won’t be any more giant construction projects like the Arrabelle for a while.

“We’re doing all right, but we’re not coasting at all,” he said.

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