Park City Retail Sales Fall 23%

They may boast the greatest snow on earth, but unfortunately they haven’t had the greatest retail sales this year. Receipts dropped 23 percent for the season compared to last according to a report by Salt Lake City-based consulting firm Bonneville Research. Additionally, Park City’s January sales-tax receipts, compared with January 2008, were down by a higher percentage in Park City than in any other Utah city, save Hurricane in Washington County.

An article in the Salt Lake City Tribune states: That analysis, which does not include food and beverage sales, is based on data provided by the State Tax Commission, according to the firm’s vice president, Jonathan Springmeyer.

When food and beverage sales are rolled in, overall retail business in Utah’s premier ski town was down 18.8 percent, according to Bret Howser, Park City’s budget officer.

Although the numbers for February and March aren’t yet in, they are expected to be similar to January’s decline, Howser said.

That’s a big drop — about $23 million in taxable sales for January, alone.

But it could have been a lot worse, coming as it did on the heels of the global financial crisis. At least that’s the refrain heard around town from merchants, restaurateurs and hoteliers who hope the recession has bottomed out.Most had seasons like that of Jan’s Mountain Outfitters, where winter sales were off 20 percent or more, said Karl “Jake” Jacobson, a manager.

“But that’s compared to last year, which was huge,” he noted, referring to Park City’s record 2007-08 ski season.