Revenue down, but Frisco still ahead
FRISCO – Frisco’s sales tax revenue was down in March, but not as much as town officials had feared.
“The good news is, we’re not as down as far as we thought we’d be,” said Theresa Casey, Frisco’s assistant town manager. “The bad news is, we’re still down compared with 2002.”
Officials knew the town’s revenues would suffer once Silverthorne’s Target opened in March, taking business from Wal-Mart, Frisco’s biggest revenue-generator. They budgeted accordingly, estimating the town would lose $100,000 per quarter ($300,000 for 2003) to competition from Target.
But Frisco officials worried when revenue already was down from 2002 revenue before Target opened – 14.7 percent in January and 17.3 percent in February. They expected to see an even higher loss in March – as much as 25 to 30 percent, Casey said.
So they were pleasantly surprised to learn that March revenue was down only 12 percent over last year, Casey said. While that puts first-quarter revenue down 14.58 percent overall, the town still is 27.4 percent ahead of its budget.
Whether that’s good news or not is yet to be determined, she said. While March typically is one of the town’s best months for revenue, May and June are among the slowest.
“We’re still being very cautious,” Casey said. “We’ve only been through three months. We’ve got nine to go. We’re not diving in and cutting things, but we’re still not filling positions as they open.”
Target’s competition isn’t the only variable affecting Frisco’s revenue this year, officials said. Like other towns, Frisco also has suffered from the poor economy and impacts from the war.
Wal-Mart’s store manager, Robert Ownbey, agreed.
“The economy (and) the war all had a different effect on us,” he said.
Ownbey would not specify how much Wal-Mart’s March profits were affected by Target’s competition but said he believes the store recovered some of its initial loss in April sales.
Although it’s unlikely Wal-Mart will again see profits similar to those realized before Target opened, Ownbey said he’s hoping for a better summer this year than last year, since recent precipitation seems to be lessening the possibility of forest fires.
Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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