At a glance
Total sales tax revenue:
February 2008 $2,166,536
February 2007 $2,032,034
Percent change 6.62
Sales tax year-to-date:
Jan. to Feb. 2008 $4,362,686
Jan. to Feb. 2007 $4,076,695
Percent change 7.02
Steamboat Springs February saw a small upturn in mountain area sales, continuing recovery that began in January after three straight months of losses, according to sales tax figures released by city officials this week.
Mountain area sales tax revenue increased 1.73 percent in February, rising to $881,191 from $866,169 in 2007. The mountain area saw a 1.57 percent increase in January but demonstrated sales losses the last three months of 2007, including a 48 percent drop in November. Some local business leaders and city officials credited those losses to ongoing construction projects and the postponed opening of Steamboat Ski Area.
"We're still seeing some downturn at the mountain, due to the construction, and it's just going to continue on for a couple of years," Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Executive Vice President Sandy Evans Hall said. "Hopefully, that will be displaced by revenue from the downtown area."
The downtown area saw revenues rise 18.22 percent from 2007 levels in February, from to $317,395 from $268,488 - an increase the city's revenue supervisor, Kim Weber, said was unexpected.
"We're seeing the downtown doing very positively, as well as restaurants, which is good to see," Evans Hall said.
Overall, year-to-date sales tax collection in Steamboat Springs through February is up 7.02 percent from 2007 levels. Steamboat's accommodations tax is up 3.02 percent year-to-date, generating $289,797 through February.
"We're not seeing the margins on lodging that we used to," Evans Hall said. "At least we're still looking at an upswing on our sales tax that's considerable, so hopefully that holds on."
In February, sales tax revenue grew in every spending area except sporting goods, which dropped 4.38 percent to $193,909. Restaurants posted the highest gain, with revenue rising more than 20 percent compared to last year, to $354,670.
Compared to other Colorado resort communities, Steamboat fell in the middle with its 7.02 percent year-to-date gain. Winter Park posted the largest gain, at 8.28 percent, with Breckenridge trailing at 3.85 percent. All reporting communities posted positive sales tax collections in February and thus far in 2008.
The Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority sales tax collections were down more than 10 percent in February, and are down 12.78 percent year-to-date from 2007 figures. Those numbers are expected to stay down due to construction at the base area, Weber said.