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Booth spaces hot at Aspen’s street market

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Seventy-six craft vendors are vying for the lucrative, but limited, booth space at this year’s Aspen Saturday Market.

The city’s Commercial Core and Lodging Commission (CCLC) will face the daunting task of picking and choosing from among the assorted makers of jewelry, soaps, hats and such, along with potters, woodworkers and other artists who all want to sell their wares at the weekly street fair.

“I think what happened is people saw how much money was being made ” now they’re coming out of the woodwork,” said Kathy Strickland, chief deputy city clerk and the staffer who works with the CCLC.

She has been collecting the applications; the deadline was at the end of February.

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What had been strictly a farmer’s market was expanded to include a handful of craft vendors two summers ago. Last year, the market was expanded from one to two blocks near City Hall to accommodate about 48 craft vendors, along with 15 or so Western Slope produce growers.

Last year, overall sales for the first four months of the market totaled $707,818, according to the city finance office. Sales tax reporting through September indicated the produce growers did $335,277 in sales, while the craft vendors cleared another $372,541.

By the end of October, the final tally for market sales was $712,318.

This year’s market runs from June 19 through Oct. 30. While the farmers’ group oversees the participating produce vendors, the CCLC will be sorting through the applications from craft vendors this month and deciding who’s in and who’s not.

“The mix is going to be way better than last year,” Strickland predicted, judging from the variety of crafts detailed in the applications.

The market will have 30 booth spaces available for craft vendors ” enough to accommodate 60 vendors if all of them wanted to share a space. Only about half of the applicants are interested in sharing, though, Strickland guessed.

Last year, the fee for a craft booth was $300 for the season. This year, it has been upped to $500 for a shared booth and $400 for solo vendors.

In addition, vendors must collect sales tax and pay $150 for a business license.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]


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