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Trade and Commerce

Retail. Retail sales in the SEAGO Region totaled $1.6 billion in 2015 with the largest share (54%) occurring in Cochise County. Greenlee County accounted for the smallest share of regional retail sales at 10%. From 2011 to 2015, regional retail sales grew by 12% (less than half the statewide rate of growth of 28.2% during the same period). Greenlee was the only county in the Region to see a decline (-7%) from 2011 to 2015. Cochise County saw the strongest gain in the Region in retail sales over the five-year period at 15.1%—barely half the statewide rate. The slow retail growth rate throughout the SEAGO Region is largely a result of the rural area’s slow economic recovery from the 2008 recession. As has been mentioned, the recession affected much of the SEAGO Region later that the U.S. and the State of Arizona. The recovery period in the Region was also late in developing and slow in its progress.

Restaurant and Bar. Restaurant and bar taxable sales in the SEAGO Region totaled $235.7 million in 2015 with the largest share (60%) occurring in Cochise County. Greenlee County accounted for the smallest share at 2%. From 2011 to 2015, regional restaurant and bar sales grew by 14.1% (barely half the statewide rate of growth of 27.7%). Poor regional performance was due almost exclusively to slow growth (5.4%) in Cochise County; all other counties in the Region saw restaurant and bar sales perform at or above the statewide rate. Restaurant and bar sales in both Graham and Greenlee counties grew by more than 34% over the five-year period, considerably outperforming statewide sales.    

Hotel and Motel. Hotel and motel taxable sales (stays of less than 30 days) in the SEAGO Region totaled $57 million in 2015 with the largest share (59%) occurring in Cochise County. Graham and Greenlee counties (combined) accounted for the smallest share at 16%. From 2011 to 2015, regional hotel and motel taxable sales declined by 5% (while statewide sales grew by 32.1%). Cochise was the only county in the Region to see a decline (-18.9%) from 2011 to 2015, but the effect was sufficient to drag regional-level sales into negative territory for the five-year period. Santa Cruz County saw the strongest gain in the Region in hotel and motel taxable sales during the five-year period at 34.4%—outperforming statewide sales. The increase in Santa Cruz County hotel and motel sales is largely attributable to the construction of the new Nogales commercial port of entry during that period. Hotel and motel taxable sales in Graham and Greenlee counties combined grew by 14.5% (less than half the statewide rate of growth). 


The decline in Cochise County’s hotel and motel taxable sales can be attributed to a decline in tourism as a result of the recession, a decline in employment at Fort Huachuca, and a change in the Department of Defense TDY policy requiring Fort Huachuca visitors to first seek accommodations at the Fort before staying in hotels/motels off the base.

Attention to tourism in the SEAGO Region is an important consideration for the Region to experience desired growth in the trade and commerce sector of the local economy.

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: Arizona Department of Revenue and UsEconomicResearch.com