Breckenridge Sunday Market finds new footing amid COVID-19 restrictions
BRECKENRIDGE — As with most events in the time of the novel coronavirus, the Breckenridge Sunday Market has had to adapt, making changes on location, market size and customer protocol.
The market, which used to be located at Main Street Station, has moved to the Village at Breckenridge resort plaza, allowing for the Main Street shops and restaurants to use the outdoor space for extra seating. Because of the new location, business has been relatively slow in the market’s first few weeks, Kristi Rashidi, owner of Rocky Mountain events, said. However, the number of visitors was starting to pick up Sunday morning, July 12.
“The village plaza is a little easier to control the traffic flow and maintain a constant live count of the number of people in the market, which is what we have to do to adhere to the guidelines from the health department,” Rashidi said.
The new location isn’t the only change. The market, which opened on June 28, had to cut its vendors down from 40 to 20 and increase the number of food and produce vendors because of public health restrictions.
“Things are definitely different this year, but we felt compelled to continue the tradition of the market and not be broken by COVID-19,” Rashidi said.
The market is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of the virus. Market employees have put down painter’s tape in the shape of arrows to direct the flow of traffic and everyone is required to wear a face covering or mask. The market also has an employee offering hand sanitizer to all customers as they enter.
“After everything that everyone had been through we felt strongly about giving the opportunity to the community for people to come,” Rashidi said. “We didn’t want to give up. We wanted to fight to do what we have to do to keep the market going.”
Market Director Will Shira said people have been compliant with the mask rules so far.
“From my end it can be fairly stressful, but most people are very understanding,” he said. “We’ve only had very few incidents of people not being understanding. On the whole, I’m pretty proud of our town and our community for trying to get through this together.”
While the market has been off to a slow start, it feels good to be able to work, John Brown’s Farm Stand Owner Chris Brower said.
“It’s a little weird, wearing masks and stuff,” he said. “But everybody’s been very compliant and very friendly. I think they’re glad to be away from where they’re from.”
Corey Crespi, owner of Corey’s Chocolates in Estes Park, said the market is a great way for people to safely shop during the pandemic.
“It feels amazing to be able to sell in a way that feels safe,” he said. “I think that farmers markets are absolutely essential. It’s open air. We can come out here and instead of being in a crowd … we can be in the outdoors.”
Crespi said the key to a successful market during the pandemic is being patient and kind.
“We’re all being challenged right now,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to give each other some forgiveness, patience and space. Together we can work things through.”
The market is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday.
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