’03 an up year for downtown Glenwood
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Downtown merchants and restaurateurs here had fatter wallets in 2003 ” at least according to city financial records.
The two zones that comprise the Downtown Development Authority area ” north Glenwood and 7th to 11th streets ” saw a net increase in sales tax revenues of 5.76 percent from 2002 to 2003.
“We were the only area that showed an increase,” DDA volunteer Bob Zanella said. “All the other areas … showed losses in sales tax revenue.”
Zanella attributes the downtown’s increase to a stronger tourism market in 2003. The downtown area is home to the city’s biggest tourism draws, he said. The area includes the Hot Springs Pool and the base of the Glenwood Caverns tram.
“This is the primary area for tourism,” Zanella said.
The downtown’s success was not shared by the city as a whole. Citywide, sales tax revenues dropped by 2.5 percent in 2003 as compared with 2002. The biggest losses came in general merchandise, which fell 5 percent in 2003. That loss is partially attributable to the opening of a Super Wal-Mart in Rifle on Oct. 29, 2003.
Zanella said the variety of businesses in the downtown core make that area less prone to losing money when a new store opens in another town.
“Downtown we have key restaurants, retail establishments and tourism,” he said. “The big hit was what happened with Wal-Mart.”
Zanella said the DDA has been hard at work with downtown business owners urging them to be “more responsive to tourism,” so he’s not surprised at the results.
He also said the tram that brings visitors up Iron Mountain to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park ” which opened in April 2003 ” gave people a new reason to extend their stays in Glenwood Springs.
“It is one of the key attractions,” Zanella said. “I think we’re going to see people staying an extra day.”
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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