Market expansion a win-win-win
Please consider the expansion of the Aspen Saturday Market as it is truly a win-win-win scenario for shoppers, local businesses and our town.
Locals and visitors who shop at the market win with more selection and more competition between vendors. Competition in the marketplace is the American way and benefits us, the consumers. Additional booths, offering crafts, produce and delicious snack foods, offer a more attractive shopping experience.
Local businesses, including current vendors, new vendors and existing downtown businesses, benefit from the increased traffic the expanded market would attract. New vendors, especially local business owners who are challenged with the current recession, would have a valuable opportunity to launch a business, grow one or simply remain viable. Many local entrepreneurs who recently applied and were denied booth space for this summer would have the opportunity to offer their unique, locally made products and experience sales and marketing benefits.
Mom-and-pop businesses (remember them?) who offer affordable products could be prioritized in the selection process. The community has repeatedly asked the city government to help create new affordable opportunities for local entrepreneurs and at the same time, necessary basic goods for locals.
The city of Aspen wins, too. New vendors mean increased booth fee revenues (approximately $500 per small booth) and more sales tax revenues, which are much needed for our city services – now more than ever. An expanded market would translate into a more successful market; it would be one of the biggest and most important summer events for our town, drawing 3,000 to 5,000 people per Saturday. Let’s have 5,000 (or more) people every Saturday and create a real fun social event as well!
Perhaps the market could expand eastward on East Hopkins to appease the retailers and restaurateurs who opposed the expansion idea in 2004. Susan Harvey, owner of Susie’s, which is one of two shops on the East Hopkins block, supports the expanded market toward her business and mentioned that “Anything that brings additional people to town is good for us.”
The legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi said it best, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” With the utmost respect, I ask you, our elected officials, to have the will to support expanding our Aspen Saturday Market to benefit locals and visitors, local businesses that our friends and families own, and the city of Aspen.
Thank you for your time, your thoughtful consideration and most importantly the passion you have for our community that strives to be the best in everything that we do.
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The state transportation department’s $2.6 million plan to rebuild the roundabout west of Aspen next summer and fall appears to be moving along on schedule based on two votes in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley last week.