Sales tax revenue exceeds expectations

April report: Ski area base growth continues; town area falls

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Sales tax revenue, by area

Downtown

April '06: $158,172

April '07: $152,347

% change: -3.68%

March '07: $339,182

Mountain area

April '06: $104,198

April '07: $149,474

% change: 43.45%

March '07: $1,045,650

U.S. 40 Corridor

April '06: $360,856

April '07: $388,768

% change: 7.73%

March '07: $658,046

West Steamboat

April '06: $139,245

April '07: $162,229

% change: 16.51%

March '07: $168,317

— An April sales tax report prepared by city staff showed large growth continuing at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, while sales tax revenue in the downtown area dipped for the second straight month.

Overall, April sales tax revenue totaled $1,011,529, compared to $908,535 in April 2006, an 11.3 percent increase. Year-to-date, sales tax is up 9 percent, well ahead of the 3 percent to 5 percent increase the Steamboat Springs City Council budgeted for.

Kim Weber, revenue accountant for the city, said the extra sales tax revenue will be kept in reserves to protect against future downturns or shortages. Anything left over will be allocated by the City Council at a later date.

Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, took the growing numbers with a grain of salt, noting that a later Easter this year meant a longer ski season.

Hall was encouraged by Steamboat's comparison to other mountain communities. The city's taxable sales in April of $25,288,250 were ahead of Winter Park, Aspen and Breckenridge. Hall noted that while Aspen sometimes jumps ahead of Steamboat during ski season, it has a significant drop-off in other months, whereas Steamboat is more stable year-round. For example, Aspen's taxable sales in May of last year were $14,805,182 while Steamboat's were $23,535,433.

"To me, what that points to is that we have a lot more stability in our economy," Hall said. "We just don't have those valleys. We're a lot more diverse in terms of our economy."

Weber said lodging, sporting goods and restaurant sales represented the most surprising increases in sales tax revenue in April. April lodging revenue increased 41.3 percent, from $65,297 to $92,247. Sporting goods increased 27.6 percent, from $45,918 to $58,591. And restaurant sales tax revenue jumped 19 percent, from $116,590 to $138,730.

By area, the mountain area showed the largest growth in April compared to the year earlier period, increasing 43.5 percent, from $104,198 to $149,474. Downtown was the only area to show a decrease in sales tax revenue, dipping for the second straight month after increases in January and February. Revenue downtown dropped 3.7 percent from $158,172 in April 2006 to $152,347 this April.

Weber said the decrease isn't significant enough to be concerned, and both Hall and Weber said businesses that were closed this April due to construction probably had an effect on sales tax revenue.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com.

Comments

spukomy 7 years, 2 months ago

FYI, Skiier visits, and the sales tax encurred, are due mostly to the amount of snow reported the year before. We are not a drive-to place such as Winter Park or Vail. Being a "Destination Resort" we rely on bookings long before the snow flies. Summit County will always do better during a period of prolonged snowfall. Steamboat relies on the previous year to attract skier visits. As much as our Mtn will always be open; the better the snow is this year, the better the tourism is next year.

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