Breckenridge’s in-town retailers have grown sales more than 12% over two years
Hearing that Breckenridge retailers weren’t seeing the same growth rates described in the town’s monthly sales tax reports, Breckenridge has begun separating the in-town and out-of-town businesses.
In doing so, town staff found that Breckenridge’s in-town retailers — businesses that have an actual brick-and-mortar presence inside Breckenridge town limits — saw their sales increase 12.58% throughout 2018 compared with 2016.
While in-town businesses are showing expanded sales, the growth rate wasn’t as dramatic as it was for the out-of-town businesses — companies that deliver or have a sales presence in town but are not physically located here — as they saw their estimated taxable sales jump by 31.08% over the two-year timeframe.
Comparing dollar figures, however, it’s clear Breckenridge’s in-town businesses do far more volume than the out-of-town ones with in-town businesses logging more than $45 million in sales through the first three months of 2019 opposed to $17 million for out-of-town retailers.
Overall, Breckenridge’s estimated taxable sales were up 1.39% in March compared with the same month last year, and Breckenridge collections are trending 3.78% ahead in a year-to-date comparison through the first three months of 2019.
In March, Breckenridge was buoyed by gains in short-term lodging (3.86%) and the grocery and liquor (2.07%) categories.
The town’s sales tax growth in March wasn’t as high as it’s been in some of the more recent months, but Breckenridge continues to see expanding sales, much like other towns in Summit County.
Fast times in Frisco
March was the most recent month for which the town’s sales tax reports are available, and it was another great month for Frisco, which recorded a robust spike with taxable sales up 5.01% compared with March 2018 and put Frisco up 6.21% year to date for the highest growth rate among the county’s four largest towns.
Overall, 13 of Frisco’s 17 taxable categories are up year to date, and March’s most significant jumps in actual dollars showed up in Frisco’s home improvement (22.77%), vacation rentals (17.64%), general retail (5.04%), and restaurants and bars (5%) categories.
Revenue specialist Chad Most noted that Frisco’s vacation rentals, restaurants and general retail categories have been “incredibly strong and consistent” throughout the second half of the winter season, which he and other local financial experts have attributed in large part to this winter’s abundant snowfall.
“Skiing and riding conditions, as compared to the last winter season, have been the most significant factor, though the 10-year high tide of a strong economy continues to float all boats,” he said.
Smaller growth rates appeared in Frisco’s hotels and inns, grocery, arts and crafts, clothing, liquor, office, health and beauty, recreation and utility categories. The biggest decline came with home furnishings, which can be at the mercy of unpredictable high-dollar purchases that cause greater fluctuations than the town’s other categories, Most said.
Dillon back in black
Compared with March 2018, Dillon was up 4.29% for the month, making it the first month this year that Dillon has seen expanding sales taxes. In fact, the month was strong enough to put Dillon up 0.14% year to date despite earlier declines this year.
As previously reported, Dillon had double-digit growth rates throughout the beginning of 2018.
While the town hasn’t gone past those figures for 2019, Dillon has held steady throughout the first three months of the year, showing that last year’s rapid growth at the onset of 2018 wasn’t a fluke.
Silverthorne holds steady
While Breckenridge, Dillon and Frisco all recorded sales tax growth throughout the month of March, Silverthorne remained largely flat for the month following a 5.67% decline in February.
In March, Silverthorne’s sales are 0.43% behind where they were through the first three months of last year.
The food and liquor category led the way in Silverthorne for March, posting 16.54% month-over-month growth and the highest jump in actual dollars over any other category. Meanwhile, Silverthorne’s outlets (-14.87%) and auto (-6.99%) categories saw the only declines for the month of March.
Year to date, Silverthorne’s auto (-2.25%), consumer retail (-0.78%), outlets (-7.42%) and service (-39.69%) categories are trending behind 2018. Still, strong growth in the building retail (8.21%), food and liquor (15.29%), and lodging (18.06%) categories has kept the town’s overall sales tax receipts steady through the first three months of 2019.
Explaining the dramatic drop in the service sector, Silverthorne revenue administrator Jackie Balyeat explained there was a one-time $110,000 payment in 2018 that skewed the numbers this year.
“It’s just that aberration that kind of threw us,” she said, adding that without that payment figured into the equation, the category would actually be up about 18.3%.
Overall, Balyeat said that net taxable sales across Silverthorne are “fairly comparable” to last year and that the categories that have shown increases have done so largely as a result of favorable winter conditions.
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