Silly Market will stay on Main Street
February 5, 2010
After brief discussions about moving the street fair to the Snyderville Basin, organizers of the Park Silly Sunday Market said Thursday that the weekly bazaar will stay on Main Street for the foreseeable future.
When City Hall officials refused last year to endorse a proposal for a long-term contract for the market to stay on Main Street, Silly Market co-founder Jewels Harrison said she entered talks with venues in the Snyderville Basin that could host the event. The alternative locations included The Canyons and Newpark Town Center.
However, Harrison confirmed that City Hall and the Silly Market have reached a tentative agreement.
"We’re just working with them on a contract now," Harrison said. "It’s a three-year contract with two two-year options for renewal."
Previously, the weekly market has occupied lower Main Street and some side streets in Old Town in the summer and early fall.
The market drew about 90,000 people to Old Town last year, Harrison said.
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"We’re just excited about now being able to move forward on our planning because we’re about a month behind on everything," Harrison said. "It’s go time."
Market organizers were not bluffing when they said they were considering moving off Main Street.
"I had gotten to a point where I was really comfortable with whatever location ended up turning out because there are benefits to all three," Harrison said. "We were working our butts off to figure out where it would work and the logistics of each location."
A recent study showed the market has had mixed effects on Main Street business. Businesses on the upper stretch of the street have suffered on Sundays as those closer to the Silly Market have fared better. According to the consultant study, an equal percentage of businesses — 40 percent — told surveyors the Silly Market was very positive or positive for business as said the event was very negative or negative. The other 20 percent of the 47 businesses that responded to the question said there was not an effect.
The Historic Main Street Business Alliance mostly supported the Silly Market remaining in Old Town.
"There is criteria within the contract that shows a good faith effort on both parties, the [Historic Main Street Business Alliance] and the Park Silly Sunday Market, that we’ll work together to make the most positive experience for everyone," Harrison said.
However, no concessions were made to the businesses by market organizers, she said.
"I think all parties are happy and we’re very excited about having an event that takes into consideration the HMBA’s wishes and our wishes," Harrison said.
She did not discuss details of the tentative agreement. The Park City Council must still approve the agreement. This year’s Park Silly Sunday Market is scheduled to begin June 13.