Glenwood retail sales up to start new year
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The bitter cold of January must have worked to draw people inside local retail stores to spend some money.
According to the city of Glenwood Springs January sales tax report, which came out this week, there was a 7 percent increase in retail sales during January compared to the same month in 2012.
Retail sales topped $27.5 million for the month, resulting in more than $1 million in city sales taxes when calculating the city’s 3.7 percent sales tax rate.
It was the first time since 2009 that city sales taxes collected for January came in at more than $1 million.
Over the past three years, the January number has ranged from a low of $902,937 in 2011 to $951,491 in 2012.
The first sales tax report of 2013 is good news for the city, which saw some slowing in the rate of retail sales growth in December 2012 compared to the year as a whole.
Retail sales during the holiday shopping season in December were still up compared to the previous December, but only by 0.65 percent. That, compared to an overall average 5.2 percent increase in sales for 2012.
Sales were up in 11 of 14 retail categories in January, including a 7.43 percent increase for general merchandise stores, which is the largest single category for the city.
Food store sales were also up 12.17 percent and sales that fall into the miscellaneous retail category, such as liquor stores, book stores, jewelry stores and florists, were up 8.4 percent.
Sales were down, however, in two major categories, including building materials and supplies (-5.77 percent), and restaurants and bars (-2.75 percent).
The number of people visiting Glenwood Springs and staying in local lodges was also up in January, according to the accommodations (lodging) tax numbers for the month.
That figure was up 13.7 percent compared to January 2012. The city’s accommodations tax rate of 2.5 percent brought in $41,261 in January this year, compared to $36,287 for the same month last year.
Lodging tax revenues go to support the city’s tourism marketing efforts, which are handled by the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. A portion of the revenues also go to support special events.
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com