City sales remain strong through 2nd quarter
Retail sales in Glenwood Springs remained strong through the second quarter of the year, including another nearly 8 percent increase in sales for June compared to the same month last year, according to the city’s mid-year sales tax report.
The numbers continue to buck speculation that retail sales might slow this summer with the ongoing construction of the new Grand Avenue bridge and related traffic impacts.
But, with the possible exception of individual stores within the construction zone that may be experiencing slower sales, overall sales across the city remain up, based on the latest tax receipts.
Second quarter sales, including the months of April, May and June, were up an average of 5.9 percent in the year-over-year comparison to that same period in 2015. Year to date, sales are up 5.6 percent, according to the mid-year report.
June alone saw a 7.9 percent increase in sales compared to June 2015, with more than $1.7 million in sales tax receipts reported on about $47.5 million worth of retail sales within city limits.
Through June, the city has collected a little over $8.1 million in sales taxes on about $220 million in retail sales.
Most of the city’s major retail sectors have seen sales gains over last year in terms of dollars spent. However, sales are off slightly in the largest single category, general merchandise, which includes national retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart and accounted for about $36 million in retail sales year to date.
That’s down about 0.5 percent at the six-month mark compared to 2015. Sales are also down 11.2 percent for home furnishings, and are down 1.4 percent for stores that specialize in apparel and accessories.
Among the major categories, though, sales of building materials and supplies are up 11.3 percent, sales of automobiles and auto parts/servicing are up 9.6 percent, taxable food sales are up 2.3 percent, and restaurant and bar sales are up 1.7 percent.
Miscellaneous retail sales, which includes such things as liquor stores, floral shops, jewelry stores and sporting goods, are also up 11.1 percent through mid year.
The city is now breaking out marijuana sales into its own category, where it used to be lumped in with miscellaneous retail following the legalization of retail marijuana sales in Colorado. So far this year, marijuana sales are up 5.1 percent compared to last year, according to the mid-year report, accounting for about $3.2 million in sales and $116,659 in sales taxes for the city.
One of the smaller retail categories in terms of dollars spent, health and recreation, has seen the biggest percentage increase this year at 27.3 percent.
According to city Finance Director Charles Kelty, that category includes taxable sales at acupuncture and chiropractic offices and other health care facilities, as well as retail sales at amusement parks, rafting companies, miniature golf and the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue.
As a continuing indication of a healthy tourism economy, overnight stays have generated 6.7 percent more in lodging taxes through six months this year compared to the same period last year. June alone saw a 3.6 percent increase in the city’s lodging tax, according to the tax report.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon may be closed intermittently Wednesday through the weekend, as highway crews break down and remove boulders and patch potholes caused by Tuesday’s rock slide.