Snowmass council talks rules for vendors at events
As it brings more and more events to the village, Snowmass Tourism wants to clear up what kind of sponsorships are acceptable to the town.
Related Colorado and Aspen Skiing Co. have a policy of not allowing any sex, tobacco or cannabis-related products to be sold or marketed on their properties, meaning you won’t see vendors of those industries at events in Base Village or Related-owned property on the Mall.
But the town doesn’t have any policy of its own, and Snowmass Tourism director Rose Abello on Monday was looking for some direction from the Town Council on what kind of message her department should be relaying to potential vendors and event organizers.
At first Abello suggested following Related and Skico’s lead in order to provide a unified front. But Councilman Chris Jacobson questioned why the town needed to follow private organizations in its policy decisions.
In Base Village, trying to figure out what plot of land doesn’t fall under Related or Skico’s purview would be too difficult, Abello said. On the Mall, the Westin Snowmass might accommodate some vendors on its property and may in fact do that for a marijuana-product seller during the Wanderlust yoga festival in July, she added.
The other major event venue in Snowmass is Town Park, where music-centered Mammoth Fest and Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience set up. Given the type of events that take place in Town Park, maybe it could operate on a case by case basis, Abello said. Town Clerk Rhonda Coxon pointed out that one vendor at the Labor Day event has been selling pipes for years.
“If Mammoth Fest wanted to have somebody who handcrafts bongs, maybe that’s not bad between the 17 breweries that are there,” Abello said.
Councilman Bill Madsen said the event business is hard enough as it is.
“I don’t want to hamstring the marketing department on what they can and can’t sell,” Madsen said. “If there’s some opportunity and Town Park is the place to do it, let’s look at it.”
The discussion came back to some philosophical issues that came up last year when the council at the time decided to place a moratorium on the opening of any marijuana shops in the village. The town shouldn’t be restricting legal activities just because it’s “scared” but because it sees a business opportunity in being a family-friendly place, said Jacobson, who voted in favor of the pot moratorium last May.
“Is the family market big enough to support our community 12 months a year?” Abello said. Snowmass is family-friendly, but it shouldn’t start excluding groups like the National Brotherhood of Skiers or automotive clubs whose activities aren’t questionable but who only involve children to a limited extent.
“We want to be family-friendly, but I don’t think we want to be family exclusive,” Abello said.
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