Target’s first month brought in more tax money than expected |

Target’s first month brought in more tax money than expected

SILVERTHORNE – The sales taxes collected at Silverthorne’s Target during its first month of operation exceeded the company’s expectations by 22 percent, and that’s making town officials very happy.

The town’s leaders, led by Mayor Lou DelPiccolo, romanced Target to town in a quest to boost sales tax revenue that plunged after City Market moved from Silverthorne to Dillon. Now, the long-awaited sales tax revenue – projected at $1 million a year – is beginning to trickle into the town’s coffers.

While neither the town nor Target will release exact numbers, officials with both entities said the initial figures are greater than either entity had expected. The store opened March 5, and the sales tax figures recorded so far reflect money collected from opening day through the end of March.

“I’m overjoyed,” DelPiccolo said. “I think they were very cautious to begin with in their projections, and just eyeballing the traffic that went there initially, it looked pretty high.”

Store manager Bill Kelt described sales to date as “phenomenal.”

“Our traffic flow is a lot heavier than we had anticipated,” he said. “Traffic from Steamboat (Springs) has been incredible – from the Vail Valley and all outlying markets has been great.”

But Kelt and DelPiccolo agreed with town finance director Donna Braun that sales volumes aren’t likely to continue at such a breakneck pace.

“We’ll see that settling down over the months,” she said. “Just like anything new that opens, the initial response is, “Let’s go see it.’ The grand opening also drew in a lot of people.”

March, which draws spring breakers from around the country, is also one of the county’s busiest months.

And while the numbers look good, it will be years before the town reaps the full benefits of Target’s sales. The store’s estimated $1 million in annual sales tax revenue will be divided between the town and Target for up to eight years. That’s according to an agreement in which the town pays Target back for up-front costs it incurred to make store improvements the town says benefit the public. Those include upgraded architecture, additional landscaping and improvements to nearby streets.

Despite his happiness at the initial sales tax revenue figures, DelPiccolo emphasized that the town is still not on steady financial ground. City Market, which brought in about $800,000 in annual sales tax revenue, has been gone for five years and has left a serious dent in the town’s budget.

“Right now, we are almost at the same point as we were five years ago,” he said. “Target is the major single contributor to sales tax revenue we’ve gotten (since then), but there isn’t money floating down the Blue River, and our streets are not paved with gold.”

Frisco officials are waiting to see what effect competition from the Silverthorne Target will have on Wal-Mart, one of its major revenue generators. Just what toll the Target might be taking on Frisco’s bottom line isn’t yet known. While Silverthorne collects its own sales tax revenue and thus gets that information quickly, Frisco allows the state to collect its share, and the state then sends that money back to the town – a process that takes about two months.

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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