City won’t pursue Christmas market
February 24, 2014
The Aspen City Council has put an end to the idea of holding a German Christmas market in Wagner Park.
In an email to city staff and the council, Nancy Lesley, Aspen's director of special events and marketing, said staff has been directed to discontinue exploring the Christkindlmarket, citing costs, overall impact and lack of community support.
The four council members present at Tuesday's work session were divided on whether to further explore the Christkindlmarket, which would have required more than $300,000 in city expenses and would have occupied half of Wagner Park for six weeks. Mayor Steve Skadron and councilwoman Ann Mullins said "no" to the idea, while Councilmen Adam Frisch and Art Daily said they needed more information before making a decision. On Thursday, Councilman Dwayne Romero, who was absent during Tuesday's meeting, echoed Skadron's and Mullins's concerns, making up the council majority.
The Christkindlmarket idea was hatched by the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission, whose members have been looking for a way to boost lodging occupancy between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They partnered with Marin Biester and German American Services Inc. — the organizers of Christkindlmarket Chicago since 1996 — to present the idea to the council.
"While I don't think anyone denies the need for some action or driver to help with the early December time period, council concluded that this particular proposal is not a good fit for our community at this time," Lesley wrote. "Staff understands the need for something to be done, and it is our sincere hope that this doesn't derail all the good intentions and efforts the CCLC and the Aspen Chamber Resort Foundation are putting forth to assist in economic improvements during this December time period."