`Aspen Goes Bazaar’ lauded by merchants
Aspen Times Staff Writer
As a final farewell before Aspen slumbers through the off-season, downtown business hours turned a little bizarre over the weekend.
“Aspen Goes Bazaar” was the brainchild of the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission and Shae Singer, the owner of Sashae Floral Arts and Gifts and Living the Dogs Life in Aspen. The event was designed to bring some life and vitality to town in what is considered the last weekend before the off-season.
Sidewalk sales, live music, a doggie parade, family activities, late-night shopping hours and street performers attracted visitors and locals alike.
“I just think it’s fabulous. I’m thrilled, tickled pink,” Singer said. “The most exciting thing is all the locals walking around.”
The event coincided with the 25th anniversary of Filmfest, the second annual Aspen Cocktail Classic, the Aspen Highlands Scottish Games, the Saturday Market, and the last of the fall colors.
“Things have been very well. We’ve definitely had some good sales,” said Francois Couturier of the Aspen Luggage Co. “It’s nice to see some animation in town and see some people moving.”
Downtown restaurants also did remarkably well.
“This was absolutely terrific,” said Tom Elder, Red Onion general manager. “We were hoping to sell some Mexican grilled food out on the mall, and that did well, but we didn’t expect everyone inside – it’s just been jam packed.”
Singer was pleased with all of the visitors descending on downtown streets, especially the hordes of longtime locals who turned up for the event.
“The biggest change in Aspen is that Aspen hasn’t been utilized by locals [recently],” Singer said. “Hopefully this will get them out and see that Aspen isn’t just a big department store.”
Mark Goodman, manager of Mark Richards on Cooper Avenue, said it was too early to tell how much the event stimulated local businesses, but he applauded Singer’s efforts.
“We have to look at the tax records and see the bottom line,” he said. “But I want to applaud [Singer]. She volunteered a lot of time and spent a huge amount of energy to put this together.
“I would have to call it a success,” he added. “Anything we do to get people to come here is great, and everyone’s having fun.”
[Steve Benson’s e-mail address is email@example.com]
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