On Sunday, the week after the final Park Silly Sunday Market of the year, Main Street was without the vendor booths, the concerts and the food stands that the Silly Market brings.

It was the first Sunday without the Silly Market since June, besides the weekend of the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, and there were crowds on the street nonetheless.

At Silverado, a jewelry and accessories store, business was up from a typical Sunday when the Silly Market is operating. But at Buona Vita, an Italian restaurant closer to the Silly Market's lower Main Street location, the opening hours were reduced to reflect the end of the season.

The two places on Sunday illustrated the broad impact of the Silly Market on business up and down Main Street as City Hall and the Silly Market organizers prepare for a critical round of negotiations about the future of the market.

Other businesses on Sunday offered a range of opinions, with some south of Heber Avenue reporting solid sales on the first Sunday after the Silly Market.

Thomas Gibson, the owner of Silverado, said it would be ideal for his business if the Silly Market was located somewhere else besides Main Street. He said the worst Sunday between early July and the end of August was the day the Silly Market extended up Main Street to make room for the Tour of Utah bicycling race.

"Traffic is better, sales are better with the market not there," Gibson said.


Advertisement

He said he would "not be sorry" if the Silly Market relocated to another spot. Gibson said Silverado customers are not as apt to visit Main Street on a Sunday when the Silly Market is happening.

"They avoid Sunday afternoon here because of the Park Silly, the parking, the crowds," he said.

Another store on upper Main Street, the jewelry and home décor seller Pine, indicated sales climbed perhaps 80 percent on the first Sunday after the Silly Market. Kim Spears, a staffer who works on Sundays, said the Silly Market is good for Park City even though sales dip at the store.

"I've actually had more traffic in today, definitely more sales," she said. "It's great to be busy."

At Buona Vita, meanwhile, the restaurant is no longer open for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays for the fall. During the summer, lunches are served on the weekends.

Paola Bello, one of the owners of the restaurant, said lunch and dinner business is good on Sundays during the Silly Market. She expects Sunday dinner crowds will be smaller with the Silly Market ended.

"If you ask me, I prefer to have the Silly Market. It brings people," she said, adding, "It's a good day, Sundays."

There have been diverse opinions about the impact of the Silly Market since its 2007 debut. Some of the brick-and-mortar businesses claim that the Silly Market has funneled customers away. There have also been questions about whether the Silly Market crowds spread their spending to businesses on the upper reaches of Main Street.

The Silly Market organizers have made operational changes over the years, including adding a farmers market outside the Main Street post office, meant to attract more people up the street.

But Main Street leaders are crafting a package of additional alterations they want from the Silly Market. Some of them could be dramatic. Details have not been made public. Negotiations between City Hall and the Silly Market are anticipated later in the fall. Main Street, represented by the Historic Park City Alliance, will be heavily involved as well.

A three-year contract between the Silly Market and City Hall to hold the event on Main Street expires this year. There are two two-year options. The deadline for either side to decline to exercise the option is Nov. 15.