November sales tax numbers in Summit County strong despite slow start to winter |

November sales tax numbers in Summit County strong despite slow start to winter

Copper Mountain Resort is one of the largest contributors to the unincorporated areas of Summit County sales tax revenue. The slow start to the ski season impacted November numbers.
Tripp Fay, Copper Mountain Resort |

The month of November is the tail end of the shoulder season in Summit County. Despite the slow start to winter this year, sales tax numbers remained strong for most of the towns in Summit.

Silverthorne saw its second highest boost of the year with November revenue coming in at nearly 14 percent over the same time in 2015. Year-to-date revenue is more than $9.5 million. Breckenridge saw slower growth in November, coming in 3.23 percent ahead, while remaining 8 percent ahead for year-to-date totals. Frisco brought in $563,778 during November, $45,000 more than last year. Dillon was the only town in the red for Summit, falling $4,185 short of last year. The town is ahead for year-to-date numbers by 2.7 percent.

Carri McDonnell, the finance director in Dillon, said that large business closures such as Sports Authority and Natural Grocers’ relocation to Frisco have impacted the town’s monthly numbers.

Marty Ferris, the finance director for Summit County, said that the unincorporated area brought in $230,000 through November, and is 5.39 percent ahead of last year. Copper Mountain Resort and Keystone Resort are the two biggest contributors to that portion of the county’s sales tax, and the county’s strongest months are when the ski resorts are up and running. Because many of the resorts had to delay their start dates due to a lack of snow, county sales tax revenue suffered as well.

“We’ve been down the last couple months, which is odd,” Ferris said.

She added that December is typically a stronger month for tourism and sales tax revenue for Summit.

For both Frisco and Breckenridge, revenue categories that are strongly impacted by tourists also saw slower growth. Restaurants in Breckenridge fell behind by .75 percent from November of last year, and short-term lodging saw a similar decrease. However, Brian Waldes, the director of finance and information technology in Breckenridge, said that part of this is because of the high rates of growth in previous years.

“That’s the first time we’ve seen that in a big month in a while,” he said. “If you go back over ’14 and ’15, (there’s) 16, 18 percent jumps from combinations of ’14-’15. It just can’t keep going.”

Restaurants in Dillon on the other hand, were up by 13 percent for November. McDonnell said that there were several restaurants in Dillon that opened recently. Both Dickey’s Barbeque Pit and Cheba Hut opened in 2016, contributing to the increase.

The Outlets at Silverthorne saw an increase in sales tax revenue for the first time in several months. The shops brought in $22,851 more in revenue than November of last year. For year-to-date revenue, the Outlets is still behind by nearly $100,000.

In Frisco, grocery sales tax revenue was nearly 16 percent ahead of numbers for November of last year. Grocery taxes in Frisco have brought in more than $1.5 million total through November of 2016. Silverthorne’s food and liquor revenue also saw a 13.73 percent increase for the month. Chad Most, the revenue specialist in Frisco, said that some of the boost may be from incoming seasonal workers.

“We really are, I believe, becoming more of a hub for local shopping, especially in relation to groceries,” Most said.

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