Coming off a strong end-of-summer season, retailers are hopeful El Niño will bring in shoppers for the holidays.
Snow at the right times can drive business for Purgatory and in town, said Durango Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jack Llewellyn.
“It can mean big, big dividends for the community,”he said.
Durango has already done well so far this year. In August and September the city showed 8.4 percent growth compared with last year, according to Business Improvement District Executive Director Tim Walsworth. Walsworth analyzed both months together to account for Labor Day weekend falling in August in 2014.
“Looks to me like a strong end to summer and a good start to fall,” he said in an email.
Although not every business saw strong sales numbers, and marijuana sales plus some big-ticket items, like art, have helped to boost the tax numbers, Llewellyn said.
“A lot of businesses have said it’s been not as great,” he said.
Looking forward to holiday sales, some local business are focused on Noel Night on Dec. 4 when about 70 Durango stores will be having sales and promotions.
While some local retailers will have some sales on Black Friday, it is really a big-box store event.
“It’s very tough to compete against the big-box stores,” Llewellyn said.
Some local businesses report the holiday shopping season maybe starting early.
“People are doing their holiday shopping already. ... It’s surprising, but we’re loving it,” said Peter Schertz, owner of Maria’s Bookshop.
He said the weekend before Thanksgiving was “gangbusters” for the store.
Some national Black Friday hype has focused on chains that are closing their doors on Thanksgiving, instead of launching sales early.
For those looking to shop the sales Thanksgiving day; T.J. Maxx, Home Depot, GameStop and Bed, Bath and Beyond will all be closed.
But the hype rings somewhat hollow to local businesses owners who have shuttered their doors for years.
At the Wine Merchant, generally open seven days a week, the owners will be closing early on Wednesday and stay closed through Thursday as they have done traditionally.
“We feel like it’s the right thing to do for our employees,” said co-owner Lesley Ponce.
However, the Ski Barn will be staying open for the holiday to offer rentals because Purgatory is open.
“We haven’t been open on Thanksgiving for close to a decade,” said Adam Bojan, the tech shop and rental manager.