Base area businesses in Steamboat see sales tax surge |

Base area businesses in Steamboat see sales tax surge

New mountain businesses lead comparatively strong November revenues for city

Mike Lawrence

— Rebounding base area revenues led November sales tax collections that were nearly 2 percent higher than November 2009 citywide, increasing the likelihood that the city's 2010 sales tax budget could come out in the black.

Steamboat Springs collected $970,173 in November sales tax revenues, according to preliminary figures released Monday by the city's Finance Department. Compared to the $951,706 collected in Nov­­ember 2009, that's an increase of about 1.9 percent, representing the city's third month this year with sales tax collections greater than the corresponding month from a year ago. July and September also saw positive sales tax numbers this year.

July's increase of 1.7 percent compared to July 2009 was the city's first such increase in comparative months since August 2008.

The city has struggled through two years of declining sales tax revenues, and city officials budgeted a 10 percent revenue decrease for 2010. Through November, however, the city was just 1.6 percent below year-to-date collections compared to 2009.

The city has projected total sales tax collections of about $16.1 million this year. Through November, the city had collected about $14.3 million. In 2009, December accounted for more than $2.1 million in sales tax revenues, meaning sales tax revenues could come out ahead for the year if December 2010 outperforms the same month from the previous year.

The final status of the city's 2010 budget won't be known until a full accounting is completed in the coming weeks. City Finance Director Deb Hins­­vark has said any surplus sales tax revenues could be used to offset shortfalls elsewhere.

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Strong numbers at the base area and in the lodging industry highlighted November's preliminary sales tax figures.

The city's lodging industry saw an increase of about 13 percent in November from the previous year.

November sales tax collections at the base of Steamboat Ski Area exceeded November 2009 by nearly $40,000.

The base area features several businesses that weren't there in November 2009, such as the Truffle Pig restaurant and bar in One Steamboat Place, Routt County Roadhouse on Mount Werner Circle, and the T Bar, housed in a small building that formerly was a Steamboat Ski Patrol facility for injured skiers and snowboarders.

"We just had our one-year anniversary on Jan. 1," T Bar owner John Holloway said Monday. "It's still not as good as we had projected it would be, but we're climbing in the right direction."

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