Empty spaces in Aspen …

ASPEN — The Quiet Years appear to be back, judging from the empty storefronts lining the streets of downtown Aspen — a scene that’s likely to remain throughout the upcoming ski season.Commercial brokers, whose bread and butter comes from sealing deals with local landlords and tenants, say the market has slowed so dramatically that it could be a year or two before retail space in downtown Aspen returns to a normal vacancy rate.“Nobody is seeing anyone doing anything,” said commercial broker Bob Langley. Since the financial crisis began last year, the city’s sales tax revenue has plummeted nearly 20 percent. Dozens of shops and restaurants have closed and left town. And while new businesses have replaced some of them, the vacancy rate is higher than any broker can remember.
By Carolyn Sackariason, Nov. 15, 2009 AT

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