Blast from the Past #5 6/20/17
Introduction – The information Kiosk at the entrance to the Baca Grande subdivision is the first encounter with development when entering the Crestone area. It is being used by various entities as a retail vending space as well as hosting an information board. My interest in this space, owned by Saguache County, is that it should be clean and attractive while continuing to offer local vendors a commercial opportunity beyond the Saturday market that the town hosts.
Recent usage has included used car and motorcycle sales as well as flea market/garage sale type operations that are not as pleasing to the aesthetic senses as other uses might be. Often it looks like folks have gone down to the free box and hauled the stuff to the kiosk to try to sell.
Other uses such as produce and prepared food sales are more attractive, in my view anyway. The Crestone Arts District has made an effort to beatify the area and has a plan to develop it further with a restroom, picnic area, community garden and pavilion.
Recommendations - My 25 year experience with farmers markets around the state lead me to believe that an organized outdoor market can be a commerce center, a tourist attraction and a community gathering place that enhances everyone’s experience of the area.
All markets I have been associated with have been under some sort of management to ensure compliance with basic tenants that keep operations up to par. Community stakeholders together with the County should work to develop goals for the area and a plan to reach those goals. Right now however, policies should be in place to protect all involved and to raise funds for maintenance and development. The most basic would include:
Space allocation, vendor types, fee structure and collection of same, parking, sanitation, days and times of use, and insurance.
Some towns choose to subsidize markets as a promotional tool, and other entities use commercial space such as parking lots as a means to generate income. Never have I experienced markets that offer space free to anyone that wishes to set up and sell.
I am asking the Commissioners to create a policy to regulate this area for the benefit of the community.