Shoppers brace for more City Market traffic in Aspen
Lack of available parking spaces, lengthy checkout lines, crowded shopping aisles and too limited a selection of natural and organic products and food.
These are among a few of the challenges that City Market shoppers report experiencing at the grocery store on a regular basis, and especially during Aspen’s peak season.
Located just over a block away from the Silver Queen Gondola, City Market is one of three grocery stores in Aspen, but only one of two — the other being Clark’s Market — that are in town.
Roxy’s Market and Deli is about 4 miles from town in the Aspen Business Center.
Clark’s Market closes next week for a renovation that’s expected to last at least 15 weeks, leaving City Market as the only in-town grocer during that time.
“Every time I come here, I wait in a really long line,” local Niki Castellanos said, adding that she’s “really not looking forward” to Clark’s closure.
“It’s already so busy here,” Laura Rose said, who was picking up a few items at the market with a friend around 12:40 Thursday afternoon.
With its 13,061-square-foot first floor, the Clark’s Market shopping area also is larger than City Market’s 12,000-square-foot space.
Mariya Mitsinova said she was concerned both by the increase in crowds that the Clark’s closure will likely draw to City Market as well as its limited inventory of natural and organic products.
“Clark’s has a bigger selection of organic fruits and vegetables,” Mitsinova said. “(City Market has) to increase their organic selection.”
Castellanos agreed with Mitsinova and said she’ll have to resort to ordering select items online or driving to Whole Foods in Basalt, which she called “a huge hassle.”
Rose said she always finds it challenging to score a parking spot at City Market, and that she can only hope there will be a temporary parking solution during Clark’s extensive, multimillion-dollar renovation.
“We definitely need to find a way for people to get here in the interim,” Rose said.
When contacted by The Aspen Times, City Market manager John Hailey declined to comment on whether the market plans to make any changes to accommodate the possibility of increased business during the Clark’s closure.
Kelly McGannon, a spokeswoman from City Market’s Kroger corporate office, said the company’s stores are “always happy to respond to changing customer trends.”
“John has the tools, and he’s able to make those decisions to reflect what’s happening in Aspen specifically,” McGannon said.
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