Avon, CO – The Avon Town Council will take action at its September 27th meeting to approve a Sales Tax Rebate Agreement for Retail Concepts, Inc., owner of Sun & Ski Sports. Since the announced closing of Sports Authority, the Town has been in discussion with Traer Creek and Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate about soliciting and retaining another retail store. As a result of the Sports Authority bankruptcy process, Sun and Ski approached Traer Creek for the recently vacated space.
In the Town’s research, Avon learned that Sun & Ski Sports is a national retailer, owned and operated by Retail Concepts, which is based in Houston, Texas. The private company provides technical and casual, snow, cycling, running and fitness products and apparel, electronics and recreational water products. It also sells products online. Stores are currently located in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Avon’s location will be the first Colorado store. Sun & Ski also plans a new store opening this fall in Park City, Utah.
Traer Creek, in its evaluation of the company and in confidential negotiations with the Town, shared that the company is a conservative and privately held company with a strong positive reputation. Avon became aware, over the negotiation period, of the competitive nature of site selection, with the numerous Sports Authority stores vacated across the nation. At least one other Colorado ski resort town was disclosed as under consideration by Retail Concepts.
In addition, as part of the lease negotiations, the cost of refinishing the interior of the approximate 33,000 square foot retail space, estimated at $1,000,000, was disclosed. This upfront expense was a major element in obtaining a lease. Recognizing the high cost of finishing the space, Traer Creek and Retail Concepts requested the Town’s consideration of a sales tax rebate as a financial incentive. As a result of those discussions and negotiations, it was the conclusion of Town Council that attracting a replacement sports retailer in Chapel Square Plaza was a unique opportunity and a public-private partnership could land the store. As a result, the Sales Tax Rebate Agreement is presented to Council for its consideration and approval.
The Sales Tax Rebate Agreement would provide a maximum rebate to Retail Concepts of up to $100,000 per year for five years (i.e. a maximum rebate of $500,000). The rebate is calculated at the amount of 45% of the actual sales tax paid to the Town by Retail Concepts. The conditions include providing evidence of a lease for a term of at least 10 years and opening the store by no later than January 15, 2017. The Town’s sales tax contribution is projected to be 15% of the total taxes collected from Sun & Ski Sports over a ten year period.
“The prospect of bringing Sun & Ski into the vacated Sports Authority space was an exceptional and timely opportunity for the Town of Avon and our business community,” stated Mayor Jennie Fancher. “The loss of Sports Authority, as a key anchor store in Chapel Square, was already reverberating through other stores with actual and feared losses of sales. Landing Sun & Ski Sports required the partnership of Traer Creek, Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, Retail Concepts and the Town of Avon. I am most proud to be announcing our collaborative achievement of what I believe was a “must do” partnership.”
The Town has adopted general policies regarding the use of financial incentives to promote appropriate and beneficial economic development. The Avon Comprehensive Plan states as Goal E.2: “Ensure the ability to fund and implement the necessary development and redevelopment by encouraging strategic use of town funds to leverage high quality private sector investment.” and Policy E.2.1: “Pursue economic development benefitting the Town of Avon by using local, county, state, or federal resources that are available including incentive programs and section criteria”. The Avon Town Council adopted the Community Revitalization Public-Private Partnership Guidelines by Resolution 2008-54, which states in part Purpose 4. “Promote the efficient use of incentives to maximize the public benefits to the Avon community;” and lists “Revenue Sharing” as one of several primary incentives.
Public comment is welcomed on this matter and will be heard at the meeting. In addition, email comments may be sent to Town Clerk Debbie Hoppe, firstname.lastname@example.org by not later than 2:00 p.m. on September 27th.