Steamboat’s August sales tax collections were up
Retailers say Pro Cycling Challenge was a factor for increase
October 3, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs sales tax collections increased 6.7 percent in August compared with the same month in 2010, according to a preliminary report released Monday by the city.
For some local retailers, it was an August to remember.
Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare co-owner Harry Martin attributed the boost to his business in August to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The professional bike race rolled into Steamboat on Aug. 26 and took off Aug. 27.
"We had our best day ever that day," he said about Aug. 26, the day the race's Stage 4 finish was held downtown. "And that was the best August we've ever had, too."
The city collected $1.39 million in August, up from $1.3 million in August 2010. That brings year-to-date collections to more than $11.6 million, up from nearly $11.2 million by this time last year. That's a 3.75 percent year-to-date increase.
Kim Weber, the city's budget and tax manager, said she the Pro Cycling Challenge played a part in the increased sales tax collections but wasn't entirely responsible for it.
"I don't attribute the whole increase to that," she said about the race. "I think there were multiple additional activities in August. But that sure helped."
In addition to the Pro Cycling Challenge, August featured events including Steamboat Wine Festival, Ride 4 Yellow, Wild West Air Fest and Steamboat All Arts Festival.
Other regular events included Seminars at Steamboat, the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, a variety of musical performances at Strings Music Pavilion and the Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series.
Weber said she thought there were more visitors in town in August. Backcountry Provisions co-owner Dave Pepin agreed. He said more visitors from the Pro Cycling Challenge and other events contributed to more customers and an 18 percent increase in sales at his downtown sandwich shop in August from August 2010.
"You got the sense that there were more people in town and it showed in our sales," Pepin said. "It was a good month."
The city separates sales tax collections by category (miscellaneous retail, lodging and amenities, sporting goods, utilities, restaurants and liquor stores) and location (town, mountain area, U.S. Highway 40 corridor, regional and west Steamboat).
While not a huge dollar amount increase — $78,203 from $67,467 — the sporting goods category saw the biggest jump at 15.9 percent.
Martin said his store's August sales increased 45 percent from August 2010. He said the single-day sales for Aug. 26 were about 20 percent better than any other day in the store's history.
"That event alone got a lot of locals more excited about biking," Martin said. "It put it more in the forefront. Biking in general seems to be on a real roll right now, in part because of what the city has done with Bike Town USA. We've seen more people come up here this summer specifically to go biking. And hopefully they're staying in hotels and eating at restaurants, too."
August sales tax collections from lodging businesses were up 7.7 percent over August 2010, and restaurants were up 8.1 percent.
The preliminary sales tax report released Monday also lists accommodations tax and building use tax collections. Accommodations tax revenues increased nearly 2.9 percent in August from August 2010 for a year-to-date increase of 8 percent over last year.
Building use tax revenues decreased by 33.1 percent in August from August 2010, the second straight month of steep declines in that category. However, year-to-date collections are up more than 25 percent from 2010.
To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com