Glenwood sales remain up through October | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood sales remain up through October

Glenwood Springs experienced another 3.8 percent increase in retail sales for October, despite a 10-day closure of the Eighth Street bridge leading to the Glenwood Meadows shopping center and other ongoing work related to the Grand Avenue bridge project.

According to the city's latest sales tax figures, retail activity was still on pace through 10 months to eclipse last year's record sales numbers in terms of dollar volume.

With two months remaining in 2016, including the busy holiday shopping season, Glenwood Springs had collected $14.3 million in sales tax on roughly $388 million in total retail sales, representing a near 4.8 percent increase for the year.

The city had a record $16.8 million in sales taxes on $455 million in sales for 2015, surpassing pre-recession figures from 2007 and 2008.

For this past October, the city saw nearly $1.4 million in sales tax revenues on $37.5 million in retail purchases, as well as eating out and overnight stays in Glenwood lodges.

October was particularly challenging in terms of getting around the downtown area during the Eighth Street bridge closure from Oct. 8-18 when construction was underway to upgrade the bridge deck for use as a Colorado 82 highway detour starting next August.

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That meant anyone headed to the Meadows retail center where Target, Lowe's, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other major stores are located had to access the area from West Glenwood, or use 27th Street and Midland Avenue.

The Eighth Street bridge, along with the new street connection west of Glenwood Springs City Hall, will carry highway and in-town traffic going to and from areas north of the Colorado River for 95 days starting Aug. 14, 2017, when the Grand Avenue bridge closes for placement of the final segment of the new highway bridge.

The 10-day closure appeared to have little impact on overall retail sales for the affected month.

Year-to-date, sales at general merchandise stores including Target and Wal-Mart have been flat compared with last year, generating about $62.5 million in sales through October, according to the latest figures.

Sales remain up for the year in every other major category, including a more than 9.7 percent increase in sales of building materials and supplies, and almost 9 percent for miscellaneous retail (liquor, jewelry, flower and boutique stores).

Automotive sales and servicing, including parts sales, have also been up a little over 4.1 percent for the year, according to the 10-month report.

Taxable food sales were up 1.4 percent and business at restaurants and bars has been up more than 2.5 percent this year.

Revenues from overnight stays in Glenwood have also been up year to date, including an 8.3 percent increase in regular sales taxes collected on hotels and motels and a 6.7 percent increase in the city's special accommodations tax.

Sales of legal marijuana, which is now its own category for recreational and medical sales combined, are up 4.2 percent for the year. Through October, Glenwood Springs had collected $209,285 in sales taxes on roughly $5.6 million in marijuana sales.

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