Durango, CO

Urban3 was contracted by the American Booksellers Association and Local First to analyze the revenue potency of the City of Durango and La Plata County. The Booksellers were particularly interested in the productivity of two of their small, independent bookstores in relation to the Durango Walmart. Colorado’s municipal finances rely on retail sales tax revenue. In Durango, more than half of the City’s budget is funded by sales tax. With this in mind Urban3 analyzed sales tax activity over a nine-year period.

Urban3 found that the Downtown business district produced about the same amount of sales tax as the much larger South Durango commercial district, despite the fact that South Durango’s large-lot commercial area added more than 250,000 SF of commercial space to the supply. Further, Urban3 found that the Downtown business outpaced the large retailers across a variety of employment and revenue metrics.

Maria’s Bookshop and Durango Coffee Co. collectively produce 12 times the property taxes, 3.6 times the sales tax output, and more than 15 times the number of jobs per acre than the big box stores in South Durango.


Other Projects

Dan Cullen

American Booksellers Association
Fall 2015