No snow, slow sales

Ongoing construction, delayed ski season take a bite out of tax revenue for Steamboat Ski Area

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At a glance

Total sales tax revenue:

November 2007 - $1,101,417

November 2006 - $1,084,858

Percent change - 1.53

Sales tax year-to-date:

Jan. to Nov. 2007 - $17,152,810

Jan. to Nov. 2006 - $15,805,049

Percent change - 8.53

— Ongoing construction projects and a postponed opening of Steamboat Ski Area contributed to a November sales tax hit for the mountain area, which saw revenues cut nearly in half from 2006 levels.

Sales tax revenues in the mountain area dipped to $71,681 in November 2007. That is a nearly 48 percent decrease from the $137,797 in revenues garnered during November 2006, according to sales tax figures released this week by city officials. November was the second straight month of decreasing sales for the mountain, which suffered a nearly 13 percent revenue decrease in October.

"Our significant decrease was due to lodging, so I think it had everything to do with the lack of snow, and the late ski season opening, and reservations overall being down," said Kim Weber, revenue supervisor for the city of Steamboat Springs.

Sporting goods sales also saw a decrease from last year, dropping more than 16 percent in November and bringing in less tax revenue than Steamboat's liquor stores.

"This is what happens when you have no snow," said Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. "Lodging down, restaurants up, liquor stores up, and sporting goods down - that's all pretty typical."

Lodging sales tax revenue likely would have failed to match 2006 levels in November regardless of when the ski area opened, Weber said.

"Even if the ski mountain would've opened on time, we didn't have the reservations to back that up," Weber said.

Total, year-to-date sales tax collection in Steamboat Springs through November is still up 8.5 percent over the previous year and surpassing budgetary projections, Weber said.

The downtown area saw sales tax revenues rise more than 5 percent in November, from $427,832 in 2006 to $449,464 in 2007. November marked downtown's fifth straight month of sales tax gains, after a four-month slump in spring and early summer.

Compared to other Colorado resort communities, Steamboat Springs trails Breckenridge by roughly 1 percent in year-to-date gains, but is ahead of Winter Park and Vail, where sales tax revenue has risen about 6.3 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. Steamboat's small 1.5 percent revenue in November bested both Vail and Breckenridge for the month, where sales tax collections dropped 11.7 percent and 2.9 percent compared to 2006.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

katrinkakelly 6 years, 7 months ago

Anyone out there get a XMAS bonus for being a faithful resort employee this year?

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bluntman 6 years, 7 months ago

irrefutable proof that global warming is bad for the economy.

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arnonep 6 years, 7 months ago

Let us not forget to blame the Planning Commision for the construction

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peabrain 6 years, 7 months ago

Blunt, thanks for the bait. This is great entertainment. Cheers.

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outsiderlookingin 6 years, 7 months ago

Apparently the Downtown Business Assoc. has succeded in dragging people off the hill and into downtown so that explains the tax shift, ( same #of people same money spent.) If the city needs tax money one avenue of revenue stream is alcohol sales. If instead of chasing businesses out (Dos Amigos, Mothers Deli ,etc. ) give the tourists what they want,someplace on the mountain to have an adult beverage. The existing establishments cannot handle the crowds due to size limitations and no one has on their agenda -Standing in front of Tugboat in 6 degree weather. Open up the Pirate Bar.

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Scott Wedel 6 years, 7 months ago

City collects $1.1 million in sales for November 2007. Of which 7% as compared to 11% the previous year is collected in the mountain area. Why is such a small part of the city's sales tax collection 90% of the article? Downtown is 41% of sales tax which means the remaining 52% of sales tax is collected in parts of the city apparently not even worth mentioning.

Thus, an article on Steamboat sales tax does not even mention the parts of town where most of the sales tax was collected.

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