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Silly Market organizers are close to a decision

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The Park Silly Sunday Market might get a new home.

Previously the weekly market has occupied lower Main Street and some side streets in Old Town, however, organizers have considered moving the summer and fall bazaar to the Snyderville Basin.

Silly Market co-founder Jewels Harrison said The Canyons or Newpark Town Center could provide suitable locations.

"We’re in the final stages of getting all the information together," Harrison said in a telephone interview Thursday. "I’m thinking that we should know by next week."

Market organizers say they had intended to remain on Main Street before the Park City Council refused to endorse a proposal for a long-term contract between the Silly Market and the city. The Silly Market, which includes artists, craftsmen, performers and food purveyors, wants a long-term commitment from City Hall to hold the event on lower Main Street.

But City Hall officials had said they were not prepared to move forward with the arrangement because a study showed the market has mixed effects on Main Street businesses.

Businesses on the upper stretch of the street have suffered on Sundays as those closer to the Silly Market have fared better. Harrison said she is in talks with City Hall officials and hopes the Sunday market can remain on Main Street.

"We’d like to have it work out that way but at this point I’m waiting to hear feedback from key players," Harrison said.

She did not disclose details about the discussions with City Hall.

In 2009, the market drew about 90,000 people to the heart of Old Town, Harrison said.

That is why officials at The Canyons say they are so excited about the possibility of hosting the event in the forum near the base of the resort.

"The Canyons is very interested in hosting the Park Silly Sunday Market," said Todd Burnette, vice president of marketing for The Canyons, in a telephone interview Thursday. "We think it’s a high-quality event. It drives a lot of business and part of what we are trying to do at The Canyons is get more people to come up and experience the resort. We think that the Silly Market would be a great way to do that."

"For the Park Silly Sunday Market or for any other big event we’ve been able to site at The Canyons, we think we have a pretty unique venue," Burnette said. "The Park City Food and Wine Classic has done a great job up there. Our Saturday concert series has a great home every week during the summer at the forum and we’re always looking for additional events that would be able to take advantage of the space."

Meanwhile, a Newpark developer said he has pulled out of discussions with the Silly Market about holding the event at Kimball Junction.

"It was pretty exciting. We were interested but we are not negotiating with them," Newpark developer Marc Wangsgard said. "It really didn’t go anywhere. It seems their real interest was up on Main Street."

The Silly Market had compiled a list of nine locations on the West Side of Summit County that could hold the event. The list included Main Street.

"We just are really anxious to come to a decision," Harrison said. "We’re working really hard to find a location and get it secured."

Moving the Silly Market to the Snyderville Basin would not negatively impact the attendance, Harrison said. Many people from Snyderville and Salt Lake City attend the market.

"I don’t think that we would see a change in attendance at all if it were at one of the other locations, Newpark or The Canyons," Harrison said.


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