Grand Lake sales tax revenues increase despite lodge closing | SkyHiNews.com
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Grand Lake sales tax revenues increase despite lodge closing

Tonya Bina
The Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand Lake sales tax for 2007 is up, if ever so slightly.

This is good news, under the circumstances, says Town Manager Shane Hale.

The town braced itself last year with the knowledge that the Grand Lake Lodge, the town’s most significant sales tax contributor, may not be open.

The Lodge remained closed throughout the summer and fall, which may have had an impact on other businesses due to large weddings and other functions that were not hosted there this year.

Other factors could have contributed to an otherwise more dismal sales-tax outcome as well: Rising fuel prices and the effect on motor tourism; road work continued on Trail Ridge Road; and Grand Lake’s hardware store, which opened inconsistently this fall, Hale said.

Nevertheless, Grand Lake is up a half-percent over last year. Although that’s not a large increase, it is still a positive one, Hale noted.

New businesses, such as two bars that opened on Grand Avenue, and a retail store and added restaurant space in Tallaqua Square may have made up the difference.

A long Indian summer with pleasant weather for aspen viewing may have captured more early autumn tourists, too.

Tracing the town’s sales tax revenue figures year-to-date back to 2003, Grand Lake showed a total of $853,484. Two years ago the total was $840,830. This year, businesses brought in $882,080 to the town coffers.

In 2004, the town fared slightly better with about $3,000 more than this year. But overall, this year’s cash flow has held strong, despite the Lodge’s closing.

If third quarter sales-tax collections by vendors from July to September are any indicator, restaurant and bar sales are improving. The town collected $170,561 during that period, about $30,000 up from last year in that category.

Fixed retail also held strong, with a slight increase over last year. Retail was just a little more than $3,000 behind 2004 figures, which were the highest collections in five years. Retail collections totaled $173,168 from last July to September.

In third quarter figures, however, lodging took the most substantial hit, down the most it’s been in five years. Lodging businesses collected $85,819 in sales tax in the recent quarter, down from $138,181 last year.

Miscellaneous businesses, such as home sales and services, were up a fraction over last year. Those businesses collected $29,409, which pales compared to 2004, when the town collected $40,369 in that category.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.


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