Despite the fact that the commercial vacancy rate in downtown Aspen is twice what it was a year ago, new businesses are still coming to town, showing that there is some confidence in the local market.The commercial vacancy rate stands at about 6.5 percent, according to one local commercial broker, compared to about 3.2 percent at the end of 2008. The rate of available commercial space actually climbed to about 7.5 percent before the ski season, but was tempered by the flurry of short-term leases signed in time for the critical holiday period. But while there might be a record number of dark commercial spaces in the downtown core, “A lot of the vacancy is in the office so it’s not as apparent when you walk the downtown retail,” noted the broker. As for the businesses that have recently opened, the topsy-turvy economy has certainly had a hand, pushing landlords and tenants into negotiations they never would have had a couple years ago.
By Catherine Lutz, Jan. 22, 2010 Aspen Daily News

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