Yampa Street sees big sales gains in July despite construction
Steamboat Springs — Construction cones, noisy trucks and more limited parking didn’t stop residents and visitors from spending more money on Yampa Street at the peak of the summer tourist season.
According to new sales tax figures from the city, sales tax revenue from the businesses on Yampa came in 22 percent higher in July than the same month in 2015, despite the major construction project in the area.
The businesses from Sixth to Eighth streets posted a 13.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue.
Overall, the Yampa Street businesses rang up about $479,000 more in sales compared to last year and contributed $19,000 more in sales tax revenue, Finance Director Kim Weber said.
Sales tax revenue on Yampa even grew at a higher rate than the greater downtown area, which saw collections increase by 7.8 percent.
“I was elated to see the numbers come in at what they are,” Weber said. “We do remain sensitive to the inconveniences the construction is causing the businesses, and we continue to do our best to accommodate their needs.”
The city and its construction contractor, Duckels Construction, took steps this summer to mitigate the impact of the Yampa work on businesses.
The efforts included a city-funded marketing campaign to promote businesses in the cone zone and a work schedule from Duckels that attempted to prevent more impactful work from occurring during the busiest weeks of summer.
Weber added the sales tax gains did not only come from one or two businesses.
“It was a majority of the businesses” posting sales tax gains, Weber said. “It was still very busy downtown. Maybe some people were inconvenienced by the lack of parking and the detours, but it didn’t deter them from going to Yampa Street.”
Weber noted that, while some businesses did not see the same level of sales increases as others, many saw double-digit gains as compared to 2015 numbers.
Business owners have given varying accounts on the impact of construction this summer.
Some, such as Backdoor Sports owner Pete Van De Carr, have praised the execution of the project and reported they still are posting strong sales this summer.
Others reported a decline in sales when construction fencing was placed in front of their restaurants.
The strong sales tax figures also include a new business on Yampa.
Mountain Tap Brewery opened July 7.
The construction on Yampa is ongoing.
Crews are now starting to pour concrete for some of the new sidewalks that will make the roadway more pedestrian friendly.
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