2018 Downtown Northampton Economic Indicators Report

End of year Downtown Economic Indicators for 2018, prepared by the city’s Economic Development Director Terry Masterson, are available on the tabs below.

  1. Stores by Category
  2. Retail Activity Totals
  3. Attendance Data
  4. Retail Rents
  5. Building Sales and Values
  6. List of Development Projects
Inventory by Business Category

There are 231 retail businesses within Downtown Northampton compared with approximately 74 stores in Amherst and 82 in Easthampton. The estimates for Amherst and Easthampton are based on a walk through of their downtowns.

The boundaries of Downtown Northampton are:

Downtown Boundaries:

North: King Street and Trumbull Road
West: State Street and Main Street
East: Hawley Street and Market Street
South: Pleasant Street and Hockanum Road


Eating Establishments4619%
Tea and Coffee104.4%
Dessert and Sweet Shop104.4%
Food Markets20.8%
TOTAL Food and Beverage:8236.2%

Music/Entertainment Venues52.1%
Art Galleries52.1%
TOTAL Venues: 104.2%

Hair Salons/Barbers187.8%
Fitness or Yoga62.6%
Body Art/Tattoo41.7%
Sub Total
Grand Total231100%

Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenues 

Note:  Analyzing Hotel and Meals tax revenues can be a good barometer of consumer spending because the revenues accurately reflect specific consumer spending in the City of Northampton. .

Hotel Tax Definition: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts imposes a room occupancy excise tax of 5.7%. The law allows cities and towns the option to levy an additional 6%, which Northampton does. For example, a hotel room rate of $100.00 per night would yield $6.00 to the City and $5.70 to the State.

Hotel Revenue Analysis: Tax revenue collections show that hotel revenues since 2015 have been consistently rising  despite the loss of the  Hotel Clarion and its 122 rooms. averaging $530,000. Since 2015, revenues have averaged $660,000, an increase of nearly 26%. The 2015 increase may be attributable to the Autumn 2014 opening of the new Fairfield Inn. Alternatively, in November of 2015, the Clarion Inn closed but despite this decline in 122 hotel rooms, revenues for 2016 decreased less than anticipated..

Hotels Generate Visitorship and Consumer Spending:  At 50% occupancy with 1.5 persons per room, Northampton's 340 hotel rooms will generate at least 93,000 visitors who may spend at least  $50.00 per day which would generate $4.8 million in consumer spending. Although the closing of the Clarion reduced Northampton's hotel inventory by 122 rooms, the new construction of the Fairfield Inn added 108 rooms closer to the Downtown. Since its opening in 2014, the Fairfield Inn has been operating with positive occupancy rates and revenues.

Hotel Room Inventory - 340 Rooms
Northampton possesses (3) hotels and (1) Inn with 32 rooms including (2) smaller Inns with under 5 rooms. These are:

The Clarion Hotel Conference Center with 122 rooms closed in December, 2015.

Calendar Year
Total Hotel Rooms
2016 (Clarion Hotel Closes YE 2015)$636,895-$30,000-4%340
2015 (Fairfield Inn Opens)$667,090+$140,000+26%462

Meals Tax Revenues

Meals Tax Definitions: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts imposes a sales tax on meals (6.25%) purchased from restaurants. Locals towns and cities have the option to add an additional 0.75% to the Meals Tax (Total 7.0%) with the revenues from the 0.75% remitted back to the city. Northampton exercised this "local option" in 2009. Please note that the meals tax revenues represent city wide revenues although the downtown would contribute a major share to these figures.

Meals Tax Analysis: Meals tax revenues can detail the size and consistency of consumer spending.  Adjusting the 0.75% local option meals tax rate to 100% can give one an annual food sales figure which is listed below.  Northampton generates the largest meals sales totals in Hampshire County.   Amherst generates $71 million, Hadley $48 million and Easthampton $30 million.  A regional comparison is Springfield at $250 million.  Since 2015 revenues have averaged $722,000 annually and $653,000 annually from 2011 to 2014.

Calendar Year
Total Meal Sales
2018$741,358$99.0 Million
2017$735,567$97.7 million
2016$709,901$94.6 million
2015$703,172$93.7 million
2014$662,739$88.3 million
2013$671,626$89.5 million
2012$654,950$87.3 million
2011$626,347$83.5 million

Parking Revenues

Parking Revenue Definition:City of Northampton revenue for garage, parking lot, and on-street parking

Analysis:  Parking revenues have remained marginally stable since 2013 with a 10% decline in FY 2018.

Fiscal Year (July 1 - June 30)
2018$1.79 Million
2017$2.0 million
2016$1.9 million
2015$1.9 million
2014$1.884 million
2013$1.875 million
*parking revenue does not include parking tickets