editor: fred miller July 18, 2020 #13/ July 2020
Science will not stand in the way of opening schools. Or anything else. That about sums it up for how Washington is dealing with the effects of the Trump virus. While the Senate diddles, $200,000,000,000 will cease being spent by millions of us unemployed people on July 26, when emergency funding runs out. If only Senator salaries would expire too we might see quicker action...Oh I forgot about 50% of them are multimillionaires-so a drop in the bucket. Likely there will be some sort of compromise at the last minute which will mitigate mass anxiety and depression, but who knows, some of those repugnicans, particularly Bitch McConnell, are the most callous politicians ever to hold office. (whoops! better rein in the rant, you've got a lot or reading ahead of you.)
Residents and businesses suffer from a lack communication from the City. We don't know what is going on till it has occurred or very short notice stifling input. The mayor's covid updates are very helpful and informative, but do not replace an accounting of what is going on with the City. A weekly or bi-weekly newsletter or some other communique would be very helpful (not just a sit down with the CM) so decisions that are made and 'sprung' on us residents whether by fiat or council agenda...think change in the Animal Shelter contract or the adjustments to the ambulance fees...won't be a surprise. When we are informed, the resultant dialogue can be productive and supportive. When we are uninformed, rumors and cynicism rule which leads to less support of city government and employees at all levels. That is not good.
Although the numbers below reflect the collapse of tourism dollars, local spending has offset that to a large degree...so far. I continue to hope for some sort of spending scenarios to come out of the City; the-if this, then that-kind of stuff.
CharlieParker is fine and chews anything not nailed down. He plays vigorously and my wrists continue to get bloody welts. He is cute lil bugger though as you can see at the end of this.
MAYOR'S DAILY STATS ON COVID https://www.facebook.com/Bisbee-Mayor-Smith-101543571639760/
....BISBEE: comin, goin, movin ....
Businesses Closed Oliver House closed. Nam Sen Teahouse and Good Karma Kitchen 105 Main closed (space is for rent contact them here: https://www.facebook.com/namsenteahouse/) Tumbleweed Gypsy, 31 Subway St., closed
LOOK Gallery 38 Main, closed Gimme Shelter 52 Main closed (Run by the Friends of the Bisbee Animal Shelter
Moves Neariahs... has moved off hwy 92 into the old Chinaland spot at Safeway plaza opening 7/14 Belleza Gallery... has moved to 23 Main.
Artemisia Gallery... Sloan Bouchever will remodel and move into 27 Main. He is vacating the current space at 24 Main.
Classic Rock Couture... is moving across the street into that 38 Main space from their current location next to Roka at 29 Main. (A family on the move! In addition to her store and the move, Claire and Justin just had their second child, are rehabbing the building at 44 Brewery in the Gulch, restarted Dot's Diner, and continue running the Shady Dell. Whew!)
Sonia Rita... is open at 50 Main doing a combination of art and fitness. That was the site of the former Art Awakenings gallery.
Sales Black Sheep Imports... for sale sign in the window School House Inn for sale $950,000 42-45 Main building for sale/5 storefronts and several office/apts. $995,000 The Bisbee Royale for sale $475,000 7 Howell (next to the CQ Hotel) up at $495,000 10 Copper Queen Plaza $949, 000 Gardens at Mile High $800,000 Tacho's Tacos building, 1335 S. Naco Hwy $249,000 Club Kilimanjahro up for $1,500,000 Oliver House 26 Sowles Ave....contact through FB message at https://www.facebook.com/Oliver-House-511491715979575/
People Ed Gilligan has resigned as Cochise County Administrator effective in August. He will be taking a position as the Supreme Court’s Division Director of Adult Probation Services. Gilligan has been an effective administrator in a difficult position. He has left the county in fairly good shape budgetwise. One of his accomplishments has been to keep the Sheriff's budget under tighter control, no small achievement given Dannels propensity for empire building.
Join Bisbee City Manager Theresa Coleman for a virtual office hour via Zoom to discuss current city agenda items and city projects. Participants may submit questions during the program in the comments box, which will be addressed during a Q & A session towards the end of the hour. Registered participants will receive an email link to the program on the day of the event. Participants can register for the event by clicking here.
WARREN HISTORICAL SURVEY
Although this was begun some years and has had fits and starts it seems the nomination is finally going in...with your help. In preparation for submitting an updated National Register nomination for the Warren Historic District, it will be necessary to collect current photographs of all buildings in the Warren neighborhood. Please take one or two photos of your home or commercial building and submit along with the address and the date built.
A VISITOR'S OPINION OF BISBEE
A DIFFERENT VISITOR TAKE ON BISBEE
LA TIMES: THE EFFECT OF THE TRUMP VIRUS ON BISBEE https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-13/bisbee-coronavirus-economy?fbclid=IwAR0vFY-XMMTsLPWDKuvZAdQQOk7evDCxm8AhGbvL-J_y6XJv48QWPZi-NKA .......................
BEST OF BISBEE VOTING OPENS Well, I hope you'll vote for Copper City Inn (Recreation/Place to Stay) and Cafe Roka (Restaurant/Dinner & Best Place to get a drink, ahem!) Voting ends on Saturday August 1, Don't delay go do it right now! Here is where to do it: http://myheraldreview.secondstreetapp.com/Best-of-Bisbee-2020/
........................ HERALD REVIEW SPECIAL OFFER Subscribe for cheap here: https://www.myheraldreview.com/site/forms/subscription_services/?utm_source=ss&utm_medium=email_nonsubscribers&utm_campaign=subscribe-hd5 <><><><><><><><><>
The sales tax data for May & June illustrate the beginnings of the deleterious economic effect of the pandemic in Bisbee. Sales taxes for lodging, hotels, and restaurant/bars were down reflecting the abrupt decline in visitors. Taxes for groceries (food for domestic consumption) and retail (hardware, papergoods, hard goods, etc.) were up reflecting domestic spending.
The pandemic economic effect is also clear for home sales. For April and May, home sales slipped into the single digits down significantly from a three-year run of mostly monthly double digit sales. However June sales may indicate a resumption of steady sales.
Building Permits are a relative economic bright spot indicating no diminution in spending on remodels, upgrades, and fix-ups.
Background: Sales Tax Data
A bit of background for these comments.
The current tax rate in Bisbee is 9.6%:
3.5% City of Bisbee
(this tax will be on the Nov. ballot with the city asking it to be increased to 4.5%)
2.5% City of Bisbee bed tax
(this tax will be on the Nov. ballot with the city asking to be increased to 5%. This tax is paid exclusively for lodging by visitors and not by residents. Bed taxes are used to fund tourism activities and do not go into the general fund
0.55% Cochise County
9.6% goods/services 12.05% Lodging
(10.6% goods/services 14.55% Lodging
(The tax rates if these taxes are passed by voters in November)
Once a month the AZ Dept of Revenue sends out several different Transaction Privilege Tax/TPT, aka sales tax, reports. The report I use is City collections. That report is for every city in Arizona and details various business categories and the tax revenues that have been reported to the State. (A specific business code is assigned each business when incorporated to identify the category in which the business fits. For instance, for categories I use; retail is 017, hotels 044, hotel/motel additional tax 144, Retail food sales 062, restaurant/bars 011.)
The City Collections report reflects spending two months earlier than the report is released. For example, the May report is for actual spending in March. (The spending happens in March, all businesses then fill out the requisite TPT form and send the collected sales tax money to ADOR by the 23rd of April. Results are tallied and the report is issued in May. [The sales tax data for individual businesses is not available. It is privileged info not released publicly because it would give other business a competitive advantage.)
The first six months of 2019 the bed tax generated $90,319 (this was with two months of a 3.5% tax, it then dropped to 2.5%. first six months of 2020 the bed tax generated $41,091; a decrease of about $50,00
The first six months of 2019 the hotel tax generated $73,743. The first six months of 2019 the hotel tax generated $56,478; a decrease of about $16,000
The first six months of 2019 the restaurant/bars generated $222,478, The first six months of 2020 the restaurant/bars generated $142,706; a decrease of about $80,000.
The total decrease in tax revenue in the 'tourism sector' comparing 2019 to 2020 was about $145,000. (a caveat is that restaurant/bars are not strictly tourism, cause many residents eat and drink out, a guess would be about a half of that is tourism related.)
However there was an increase of about $100,000 in retail in the first six months of 2020 ($550,017) compared to 2019 ($451,633)
And there was an increase of about $27,00 in groceries n the first six months of 2020 $250,018) compared to 2019 ($222,481).
So in comparison to the first six months of 2019 with the first six in 2020, on balance the City lost about $150,000 in tourism spending, but gained about $127,000 in domestic spending. A net loss of about $23,000. The big question is whether local spending will hold up as a fair portion of that spending is from regular and pandemic unemployment monies. If that dries up quién sabe?
Comparisons/May 2020 with May 2019 (actual March spending)
Groceries… May/2020 ($52,145) to May/2019 ($35,086) there was an increase of almost $17,000. With one month remaining in the fiscal year, spending for food is already $32,000 more for this fiscal year.
Retail sales…increased about $17,000 over May of last year, $95,859 to $78,559. Spending is already about $55,000 more than last fiscal year with one month remaining.
Restaurant/bars... the difference was $17,718/2020 to $40,659/2019; a drop of about $23,000.
Hotel/lodging...During this same period taxes decreased more than $12,000; $1,216/2020 to $14,089/2019.
Bed taxes... decreased $9,000; $1,479/2020 from $10,460/2019.
(As an aside… tourism spending for a 10 month period FY 2020 was already less compared to the same period of FY 2019, reflecting in my opinion, the resultant drop in marketing due to the lack of a tourism director and council turmoil.
Comparisons/June2020 with June 2019 (actual April spending)
Groceries…June//2020 ($39,492) to June/2019 ($41,704) there was a small decrease.
Retail sales…increased about $80,000 over June of last year, $104,062 to $75,945
Restaurant/bars... decrease June//2020 ($3,746) to June/2019 $41,847
Hotel/lodging...decreased June//2020 ($4,224) to June/2019 ($13,608)
Bed taxes...decreased June/2020 ($3,054) to June/2019 ($9,686)
A larger MLS company recently bought out the MLS company responsible for our part of Arizona. With new ownership has come some significant differences. Consequently, generating appropriate reports are still being worked out. But we have some info available.
Home prices continued to increase and days on the market continued to decrease. (A caveat-actually for any monthly stat-is that singling out any one or two consecutive months as a trend is mistaken. Preferably four to six months of data is necessary to determine trends.)
Five houses were sold in April/20 for $847,000 with an average sale price of $169,400. compared to 15 in April/19 for $1,988,075 with an average sale price of $132,538.
Five houses were also sold May/20 for $737,500 with an average sale price of $150,580 compared to 10 in May/19 for $1,369,800 with an average sale price of $136,980. Days on the market were considerably longer in 2019.
However June saw 11 houses sold. While sales were not as robust as the last two years in June it is a heartening sign from April and May. June sales were $1,319.700 compared to 17/$3,233,900 in 2019; and 15/ $2,241,500 in 2018.
Whether this is a harbinger of months to come is just a guess. There are some plus/minus factors affecting sales. The inventory of already built homes on the market continues to shrink as people stay in one place. New home building has been hampered by workforce problems with the Trump virus as well as lack of demand in March, April, May. But mortgage interest rates have now slipped below 3%, and that makes buying a home attractive. There are some indications that large cities are losing some of their allure as they have become infection hotspots. And the real biggie is whether pandemic unemployment payments will continue. Currently putting more than $200 billion into the economy, if not extended that money tap is turned off and the economy takes a big nosedive.
The jist of all these conflicting trends is that the future is uncertain. Riiiigggghhhttt! Brilliant analysis, Fred!
Residential Remodels, upgrades, maintenance work continues unabated. May/20 was $5,000 above May/1019; $249,000/$242,000. However June/20 was about $74,000 more than June/2019; $355,000/$281,000.
Commercial work, with the exception of a few larger projects, remains stagnant reflecting current business. However, with a few businesses moving locations and a few closing, I would expect more activity in the next few months.
Tourism Social Media
The Visitor Center has been closed the past few months. However there is no lack of interest in Bisbee online.
Facebook likes have remained constant, about 8000+. Page views have increased about 300-400 views over the past two months. Engagement has remained roughly constant.Average age reamains 35-44
Instagram followers have remained constant about 3500. The reach has dropped considerably the past two months compared to the beginning of the year. Average age remains 25-34.
Google Analytics is used for parsing the tourism website discoverbisbee.com. The number of users recovered in June after dropping significantly in April and May. June consequently saw more session than the previous months regaining levels seen in January and February. Page views also were up considerably, although the average time on the website dropped almost a half minute to about 1:53. (significant cause you want those eyeballs on your site for a long time looking at the Bisbee goodies.) June average age was 55-64 when previous months the age was 65+.(all those out of work peeps with noting to do but browse?)
The newsletter has steadily increased the number of readers to almost 1400.
The Bisbee economy does function independently of the regional, state and national economy...he said stating the obvious. However as much money as is being pumped into every state from federal deficit spending in the form of CARES act, PPP, pandemic uninsurance and other loan programs, a quick superficial look at the national economy is helpful.
Three of the most interesting round-up of economists views is here:
The latest on which restaurants are OPEN for DINE IN AND TAKE OUT (As of July 7) This is a fluid situation, so always best to call or go to the business facebook/website for up to date information.
Bisbee Grand 432-5900
8-8:00 dine in and take out, bar take out only
Bisbee Breakfast Club 432-5885
Bisbee Tourism Center 520•477•7329
1am-11 seven days
Copper Queen Spirit room 432-2216
Double P Roadhouse 432-9004
High Desert Market 432-6775 Patio only
9-5 Thursday -Tuesday closed Wednesday
Mornings Cafe 366-1494
7-2 closed Monday
Old Bisbee Brewing 432-2739
Daily noon -10:30 Patio limited Brats and chili
MARKETS (all with food)
High Desert Market 432-6775
9-5 Thursday -Tuesday closed Wednesday
Poco Market 520 314-5929
Mimosa Market 432-3256 (variety of breads, deli, convenience)
hours noon to 6:00 Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday.
Safeway 432-3038 5 miles from the Inn
6 am-9 pm 7 days
5 + DAYS A WEEK TAKE OUT
Bathtub Coffee 520 276-4955
9 am-3:00 daily
Bisbee Beverage and Dylan’s pizza 432-4435
11-7:30 closed Sunday
Dairy Queen 432-4436
9-9 7 seven days a week, soft serve ice cream
Gus the Greek Pizzarama 432-7440
Daily 12-3; 5-8 pm
Jimmy’s Hot Dogs 432-5911
10:30-4 every day, can order online
Thuy’s Noodle Shop 432-9169
Contessa’s Cantina 432-6711 Call may be closed
UNABLE TO DETERMINE, maybe,maybe not, call em…
Tue-Fri 10-7, sat/sun 10-4:00
Stock Exchange 432-1333
Noon-5:00 seven days
Thirsty Lizard 432-2337 (on double adobe rd)
Tuesday-Friday 4-8 pm Saturday/Sunday Noon to 7 pm
SOME DAYS TAKE OUT
Café Roka 432-5153….
3:30-7:00 Friday and Saturday
Dots Diner@ the Shady Dell
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 9-3 pm
520 346-1624 www.theshadydell.com
Patisseri Jacqui patisserie-jacqui.square.site
next to the Inn) Fri-Sat 10-4 online orders only
Poco Take out 520 314-5929
Bisbee Good Cakes 952-905-00476 (couple tables inside)
noon-6 closed Tuesday
Bisbee Table (early August possible reopening)
Santiagos (early August possible reopening)
Bisbee Coffee Company (early August possible reopening)
Pace Avenue, (available at Saturday Market)
Articles of Incorporation
Conklin's Concrete & Masonry LLC
501B Bailey Hill
P.O. Box 1514
Agent: Todd J. Conklin
CT Janitorial & Maintenence
323 E. Border Rd
Agent: Raymond E. Coyer
755 Hwy 92
Agent: Melli Rosenblatt
Agent: Fraciose Young
PUNS (or how I sheepishly sink to a new low to get your attention)
A good pun is its own reword.
I bet the butcher the other day that he couldn't reach the meat that was on the top shelf. He refused to take the bet, saying that the steaks were too high.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
Did you hear about the optometrist who fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle of himself?
Where do you find giant snails? On the ends of giants' fingers.
A man walks into a psychiatrist's office wearing only shorts made of plastic wrap. The shrink says, "Well, I can clearly see you're nuts."
Biologists have recently produced immortal frogs by removing their vocal cords. They can't croak.
The best way to communicate with a fish is to drop them a line.
On the surface of things, whales are always blowing it.
The marine biology seminars weren't for entertainment but were created for educational porpoises.
A dog breeder crossed a setter and a pointer at Christmas time and got a pointsetter.
A cat ate some cheese and waited for a mouse with baited breath.
If you throw a cat out a car window, does it become kitty litter?
Every calendar's days are numbered.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.
A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you will get repossessed.
A pessimist's blood type is always B-negative.
I went to a seafood disco last week... and pulled a mussel.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
This is an email newsletter called the Bisbee Wire. It's put together from a variety of sources and edited by Fred Miller, owner of Copper City Inn and beverage manager/bartender at Cafe Roka. It’s free. It is often lengthy and wordy. The newsletter is about disseminating information, mostly about the Bisbee economy, politics, and technology. I am solely responsible for the content. Feedback is welcome, but the Bisbee Wire isn't a forum. Any questions or comments please send to the firstname.lastname@example.org. If a business is opening or closing or expanding, please notify me, I'd like to know. If you hear a rumor about a business-and would like it verified, please send to me and I'll try to do so.
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