Spring retail numbers improve from last report
Glenwood Springs retail sales figures improved for the spring stretch after the city recorded a modest increase in sales activity for May. Also, additional sales tax receipts were reported for March and April.
May sales were up 1.26 percent in the year-over-year comparison to the same month last year, according to the city’s latest sales tax report. Glenwood Springs reported nearly $1.4 million in sales taxes for the month on roughly $37.3 million in retail sales.
The May report also reflected a slight upward adjustment for both March and April, bringing the year-to-date total for sales taxes collected to just shy of $6.5 million, up 1.54 percent over 2016.
That’s still about half a percent below the city’s sales tax revenue projections for budget purposes in this year of uncertainty due to impacts associated with the Grand Avenue bridge construction.
Based on the city’s sales tax rate of 3.7 percent, the $6.5 million received through five months means the city has seen retail sales totaling about $175.3 million.
Breaking that down by category, sales of building materials and supplies are up 11 percent, and apparel/accessories sales are running 10.3 percent ahead of last year.
However, several key categories are trending below the 2016 pace. The largest single retail category, general merchandise, is down 3.7 percent through five months, furniture/home furnishings is down 7.5 percent, restaurants and bars as a whole are down 3.2 percent and miscellaneous retail is down 10.5 percent. The latter category captures many of the specialty and boutique shops around town.
A sign that Glenwood Springs tourism is holding steady is reflected in the accommodations tax collections, which were up 5 percent in May and for the year through five months are running 4.9 percent ahead of 2016, according to the latest sales figures from the city.
During June, Glenwood Springs lodges also were at 80 percent occupancy, on average, compared to 76.7 percent in June 2016, according to the monthly Rocky Mountain Lodging Report published by the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association.
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A refunding of about $27.7 million in Roaring Fork School District bonds issued in 2011 and 2012 is currently projected to save taxpayers about $1.6 million over six years.