Minturn planning more diverse market | VailDaily.com
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Minturn planning more diverse market

Dustin Racioppi
dracioppi@vaildaily.com
Minturn, CO Colorado

MINTURN, Colorado ” The town aims to make this year’s Minturn Summer Market more diverse than last year’s, both in vendors and maybe concerning who’s running it.

Requests for proposals to run the market are being drafted and Interim Town Manager Gary Suiter anticipates bidding to begin in February.

Although many complained about last year’s management of the market ” the town brought in a professional entertainment company ” Suiter said the market can’t go back to the old days when locals ran the show for 13 weeks.

“It has evolved significantly over the years to a more sophisticated event,” Suiter said. “I wasn’t willing to roll it back.”

The bidding is open to locals who think they can take on the task, though. Several have come forward with interest, Suiter said, and he prefers locals to handle the market because they know the culture and are more accessible.

But he didn’t rule out the possibility of farming the job out to a company from Denver or beyond.

“It’s not just a little carnival. It’s a pretty big deal,” Suiter said.

However, the market needs to win back some of its previous visitors. Town Councilwoman Lorraine Haslee said an overload of jewelry vendors and new farmers’ markets in Vail and Edwards have lured visitors away, and she’d like to see more produce offered.

“There’s not enough variety,” she said.

Suiter agreed, and said that will be a priority this year. One of the market’s founders, Randy Milhoan, said luring back farmers and their products is “real critical” to making the market successful.

He and a group of other locals are thinking about bidding for the job, but said they need to take a hard look at what it will entail. Plus, given the state of the economy, Milhoan doesn’t think there’ll be too many people or companies banging down Minturn’s door to take on the summer-long task.

“It’s really, really risky, I think,” he said. “We’ve got to study this thing well enough and make sure we don’t get into something we’re not ready for. We at least want to have the opportunity.”

Parking is also an obstacle Suiter is trying to figure out. A couple years ago, ECO Transit started charging for its services to shuttle visitors downtown, and that’s an added cost. Maybe the parking this year will be closer, but that means finding traffic control services, also an added cost.

“There’s just a whole bunch of things that need to be worked out,” Milhoan said.

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or dracioppi@vaildaily.com.


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