Retail sales for September were down 6 percent in the city of Aspen from the same period in 2011, according to a recent sales tax report.
Most retail categories were down for the month, with miscellaneous and accommodations posting the largest losses, at 14 and 13 percent, respectively. The only industry with a sizable increase from 2011 was construction, which was up 4 percent.
Year-to-date, retail sales are up 7 percent from the first three quarters of 2011. All industries have increased sales since last year, with the exception of luxury goods and automobile sales.
Lodging tax collections slipped 10 percent for the month, but are still up 14 percent for the year.
Real estate transfer tax collections — which are reported a month ahead of other taxes — posted increases of over 100 percent from October of 2011. After two months with collections far eclipsing the 2011 monthly collections, 2012 is now sitting 3 percent higher than at this point in 2011.
The Colorado Department of Transportation announced Thursday that when Independence Pass closes today at 1 p.m., it will be for the season.
The agency had said that the pass might reopen if the warm fall Aspen has been experiencing continues after this weekend’s expected storm, but officials said Thursday that won’t be the case.
The National Weather Service has called for between 7 and 14 inches of snow to hit the mountains of western Colorado between Friday and Sunday evenings.
The pass typically closes on Nov. 7, but officials kept it open a few extra days this year. It is scheduled to reopen the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend in May.
The last chance to buy the Classic Pass in the Roaring Fork Valley is this weekend at the Buttermilk ticket office today and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A four-day Classic Pass is just $219, or just under $55 a day, and seven-day is $349, or almost $50 a day.
The annual D&E/Four-Mountain Sports sale is also this weekend at Buttermilk Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The sale offers 40 to 70 percent off of winter and summer gear and clothing. Sale items include skis, snowboards, boots, bindings, kids gear, summer and winter streetwear, shoes, GoPros, helmets, goggles, downhill bikes, cross-country bikes and road bikes.