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|Falling sales in retail , hotels and restaurants|
|Written by Kevin Nadakal|
|Thursday, 16 February 2012 00:39|
The town’s businesses have not been able to avoid the financial meltdown that has afflicted the nation. The only slight increase in sales came in retail, which had a 0.8 percent increase from last year, according to 2011 data available through November. Both restaurant and accommodation sales were down across the board compared to last year.
???Dr. Robert Carreira, the director of the Center for Economic Research at Cochise College, analyzes all sales for Cochise County.
“Nationwide the recession led to a decline in tourism spending,” Carreira said. “We saw that in a lot of different areas especially here in Cochise County, Tombstone and Bisbee.”
Although there was an overall slight increase in retail sales for 2011, there was a steep drop in November sales compared to November 2010. According to Carreira’s data, in November 2011 retail sales dropped 8.8 percent compared to November 2010.
The popular old time photo studio, Madame Mustache, felt the hit. Suzanne Wilson, the studio’s owner, says that her sales have been steadily decreasing for the last two years. She estimates that at this point she is down 20 percent to 25 percent. Wilson has tried to drum up sales by offering deals for her customers.
“Right now we have all of our women’s clothing and men’s clothing on sale for half price,” Wilson said.
Sales have been down across the board. Retail sales have been down eight of the last 14 months, even though there has been an overall slight increase for the year. Restaurant and bar sales have been down six of the last eight months. Accommodation sales have also been down 12 of the last 18 months.
Popular museum, The Bird Cage Theatre, has felt a slight drop off from last year but is still keeping busy.
“We are doing pretty good,” said Morgan Jones, a tour guide. “History is always going to be here, so people will always be interested.”
Jones added that the Bird Cage is aided by promotions run on popular TV shows. The theater has made several appearances on shows focused on paranormal activity because it’s rumored that it is haunted.
“The Bird Cage pretty much stands for itself,” said Jones. “We’re pretty famous as far as all the paranormal stuff goes. We get advertisement all the time when they replay those ghost shows.”
Dawn Mitchell, the kitchen manager at the Longhorn Restaurant, says the restaurant has changed prices to compensate for the decrease in business.
“We have good daily specials,” Mitchell said. “We just have to watch our pricing.”