Glenwood’s January sales up, lodging down
Glenwood Springs started the new year on the right track after another record year for retail sales in 2016, though at a much slower pace. The city recorded a modest 0.62 percent increase in sales taxes for January, following a 4.2 percent increase in sales activity for all of last year.
However, the city’s lodging tax numbers were off for the first time in almost four years to start 2017, according to the city’s January sales and lodging tax reports that were released earlier this week.
The city collected nearly $1.2 million in regular sales taxes for the first month of the year, on roughly $32 million in total retail sales and taxable services sold. That continues a string of 36 straight months of positive sales tax figures in the year-over-year comparisons.
Collections on the city’s special 2.5 percent accommodations tax on overnight stays in Glenwood Springs were down 2 percent for January, at $59,961 compared with $61,184 for January 2016. You’d have to go all the way back to March 2013 to find the last negative month on the lodging tax front.
The slight downturn in overnight visits also showed up in the monthly Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association lodging report for January, which saw occupancy in Glenwood Springs at 48.4 percent, compared with 51.9 percent in January 2016.
That statistic did make a turnaround in the February report, however, when lodging occupancy was at 56.1 percent on average for the month, compared with 52.2 percent in February 2016.
On the sales tax front, the motel/hotel category was one of nine categories that started off the year slower than last year, down 2.3 percent, though overall sales remain up slightly.
Sales were down 4.9 percent in the largest single category, general merchandise, and were also down for food stores (-2.5 percent), apparel/accessories (-0.31 percent), furniture (-9.48 percent), eating and drinking places (-3.3 percent), miscellaneous retail (-15.3 percent), and personal services (-3.8 percent).
Sales continued on the upside for things such as building materials and supplies, which were up more than 25 percent in January, and for automobiles, parts and servicing (+3.1 percent), business services (+14.6 percent) and marijuana (+11 percent).
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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.