Silly Market once considered packing up and moving
It was late in 2009 when City Hall and the organizers of the Park Silly Sunday Market were last locked in a tense set of negotiations about the future of the popular event, held on Main Street during the summer and early fall.
At that time, before the two sides were able to reach an accord early the next year, the leader of the Silly Market publicly declared there were other locations where the event could be located if a deal was not struck for Main Street.
Now, nearly three years later, it appears there could be another difficult set of negotiations approaching. The contract that was signed in early 2010 covered the Silly Markets in 2010, 2011 and 2012. There are two two-year options attached to the deal and a Nov. 15 deadline for either side to provide written notice if they do not intend to exercise the option for the 2013 and 2014 editions.
The two sides are expected to engage in closed-door negotiations as they attempt to craft a new agreement before the mid-November deadline. Main Street leaders will also likely be involved in the talks.
Kimberly Kuehn, the executive director of the Silly Market and one of its founders, said on Thursday she had received inquiries from people representing two other locations indicating they were interested in discussing holding the Silly Market on their properties. Kuehn declined to identify the locations.
Kuehn, though, said she anticipates a deal will be struck with City Hall to hold the event on Main Street as long as one does not require a substantial change to the operations of the market. She had not held a meeting with Park City officials by Friday. The Silly Market last Sunday ended its annual run.
Three years ago, Kuehn indicated during the discussions there were eight other places besides Main Street that were under consideration if a deal was not struck to keep the event on Main Street.
If the talks with City Hall this fall begin to appear futile, it seems likely Kuehn will again need to consider other options. In 2009, the eight sites Kuehn listed as being under consideration were:
Kuehn said at the time the locations were not ranked and an important factor would be the access to bus lines and pedestrian routes. She also wanted the community feel of the Silly Market to be able to take hold if there was a new location.
It is not clear whether each of the sites mentioned in 2009 would be considered again if the talks with City Hall falter. Each of them still seems capable of holding the event although there was limited information available at the time about the privately held Quinn’s Junction land.
The deal that was finalized in early 2010 included a City Hall financial package worth $115,600 to the Silly Market annually. The inducements included funding for the programs, fee waivers and donated services. It is not known what sort of financial package will be privately discussed in the coming weeks. If a deal is reached, the details would likely not be made public until late in the process.
The Silly Market, with its mix of merchandise tents, food vendors and entertainment, brings large crowds to Main Street. There are lingering concerns among some of the brick-and-mortar businesses along the street about losing Sunday business to the Silly Market. The organizers have attempted to spread the Silly Market crowds up and down the street by locating some of the activities, including a farmers market, south of Heber Avenue.
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Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, has died, the municipal government said. Erickson was involved at some level in nearly all the major decisions regarding growth and development in Park City since the early 1990s.