Business down in November

Economy fell 8.75 percent over last year, records show

— Whether it had to do with the events of Sept. 11, city businesses got hit hard in November, according to sales-tax records.

The local economy in September and October proved to be stronger than expected, pushed in part by car sales with zero percent financing deals.

November sales tax revenues, however, fell by 8.75 percent as compared to November 2000. Hit especially hard were the retail sector and sporting goods.

The city took in $670,000 in sales taxes in November 2001 as compared to $734,000 in November 2000.

The city is still up 4.8 percent year to date.

In addition, building-use taxes, charged on construction materials, brought in 89 percent less revenue than in November 2000.

It probably didn't help that the Steamboat Ski Area was a week late in opening, delaying the first day until Nov. 30. That, and the fact that the state was slow to get snow, changed the November business outlook significantly, said Sandy Evans-Hall, the executive director of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.

Evans-Hall added December may prove to exceed expectations in part because the local lodging community offered deals to entice tourists to come here.

The city had budgeted for a major downturn at the end of 2001, so city officials were not surprised by the falloff, though December will likely be a stronger indicator of how well the economy is performing.

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