Glenwood sales strong to start the year |

Glenwood sales strong to start the year

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Retail sales in Glenwood Springs picked up the new year where they left off in 2011, as the city reported a 4.6 percent increase in sales taxes for January 2012.

The first monthly sales tax report for 2012 shows the city brought in $944,341 for January.

After the opening-month figure dipped to $903,000 in January of 2011, the latest figure brings the city back on par with 2010. The city collected roughly $940,000 in January of 2010.

The last time Glenwood Springs sales taxes began the year on a positive note in the month-by-month comparisons was in 2008, just before the recession hit the local economy.

January’s numbers also marked 12 straight months of sales tax growth, beginning in February of 2011.

As a result, the city saw its first increase in yearly sales tax since 2007. Sales taxes were up 1.7 percent for 2011 compared to 2010.

“It is an indication of the economy and the way it’s improving locally,” said new Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Tourism Marketing Director Lisa Langer. “I think people are wanting to spend money, and maybe aren’t being as conservative as they had been.”

Although January was a difficult month for winter tourism in many ski resorts until the snow began to fly later in the month, Glenwood Springs seemed to actually benefit from the mild weather, Langer said.

January accommodations (lodging) taxes for the city were also up by 8.38 percent. It was the 19th consecutive month-by-month increase for the lodging tax, which funds the city’s tourism promotion efforts.

“A lot of people had already planned their winter ski vacations, and just kept with their plans,” Langer said of the January numbers in Glenwood Springs. “The nice thing about Glenwood is, no matter the weather, there’s always something to do.”

Looking at the various retail sectors in which the city reports its sales taxes, gains were recorded in nine of the 14 categories. That included a 4 percent increase in general merchandise sales.

One retail sector that had continued to lag behind in 2011 showed an increase in January, as sales of building materials and supplies were up almost 20 percent for the month.

Food sales were also up nearly 5 percent for the month, and automotive/service stations saw a more than 27 percent increase in sales. However, sales in the apparel and accessories category were down almost 13 percent for January.

The Rocky Mountain Lodging Report, which includes hotels, motels and other overnight accommodations in Glenwood Springs, showed local lodges were more full on average in 2011 compared to the previous year.

The year-end lodging report showed Glenwood Springs had an average occupancy of 53.5 percent for the year that ended in December. In 2010, an average of 49.5 percent of available rooms in Glenwood Springs were full.

The lodging report averages the usual spikes in occupancy on weekends and during holidays and special events, along with the typical midweek and off-season lulls.

Meanwhile, the average daily rate for hotel and motel rooms was up slightly in 2011 at $102.34 per night, compared to a rate of $101.64 the previous year, according to the lodging report.

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