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Downtown Retail Study

Authentic and genuine. You could be anywhere. Luckily, you're in Fort Collins!

That's the sentiment of many people in the Downtown area. What makes it so special? Well, from an economic health standpoint, it's because of the area's successful retail, hotel and dining sales.

The City recently completed a study of Downtown to measure the health of the area and use the results to help businesses, organizations and the City's Economic Health Office with strategies and priorities.

Here are highlights from the study. For more in-depth results, contact Josh Birks, City of Fort Collins Economic Advisor, 970.221.6324 or

Due to one of the worst economic recessions in history, Downtown sales declined by 7.3% in 2009. Wholesale/Retail sales declined by 3.0%. Hotel & Food sales increased by 0.6%. Despite the not-so-great news, Downtown sales still accounted for nearly $287 million, which generated approximately $8.2 million in sales tax revenue. Downtown sales tax accounts for approximately 13% of citywide sales taxes collected in 2009.

There are three major sales categories in Downtown; eating and drinking establishments account for 51% of all sales, shopper goods contribute 33%, and convenience goods rounds out the bunch at 16% of the sales.

When we look at sales per square foot, for 2009 we found that Downtown generates an average of $164 per square foot. Retail averages $118 per square foot and eating and drinking establishments average $270 per square foot.

Dining and drinking establishments account for the majority of sales. However, they provide important foot traffic to neighboring stores, create vibrancy in the area and foster a sense of place and destination for locals and visitors.

The source for all data listed above is from the City of Fort Collins Sales Tax Department, covering 12 months of activity ending June 30, 2009. Data excludes Walmart and Home Depot sales.