Glenwood retail sales strong through holidays
Glenwood Springs continued to see strong retail sales growth through November and into the holiday season, according to the latest sales tax numbers from the city.
Retails sales were up more than 3.8 percent for November, and for the year through 11 full months were still up by more than 7 percent.
Although the December and year-end numbers will not be available for another few weeks, the trend seemed to continue through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and into the new year.
“Every retailer I’ve visited with downtown said they had good holiday season, and it looks like January has been good too,” said Marianne Virgili, president and CEO for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
“We’re hopeful to be able to continue that upward trend,” she said. “We had a lot of snow for Christmas, which was good, but it was not so much that people couldn’t get here.”
Through November, the city had collected nearly $15 million in sales taxes on about $426.5 million in retail sales.
At that pace, the city should end the year with about $16.7 million in sales taxes collected during 2015, a number the city’s coffers have not seen since before the recession in 2008.
A breakdown by retail category shows that sales through November of last year were up 12.5 percent for building materials and supplies, 13 percent for automobile sales, servicing and parts, and 10.2 percent for bars and restaurants.
Sales in the general merchandise category, which includes the large-format national retails such as Target and Wal-Mart, were up almost 2 percent for the year.
Collections for the city’s special accommodations tax on overnight stays were up more than 10 percent through November, indicating a strong year for tourism.
That continued into December, according to the latest Rocky Mountain Lodging Report, when more than 50 percent of hotel and motel rooms were full during what’s usually an off-peak period for Glenwood Springs. By comparison, in December 2014, Glenwood lodges were about 46 percent full.
“We’re such a multifaceted resort,” Virgili said. “People come for skiing in the winter, but they also come for the other attractions and après ski activities like the hot springs.”
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Sales tax revenue in Glenwood Springs picked up by 11.3% for the first two months of the year, according to the latest city sales tax reports.