Dillon Farmer’s Market relocating for next two summers to accommodate construction
Planned construction at a condominium complex and upcoming renovations to Dillon Town Park are forcing town officials to relocate the popular Dillon Farmer’s Market, which draws hundreds of people to Buffalo Drive every Friday during the summer to shop for produce and hear live music.
A second phase of construction at Sail Lofts is set to begin this summer and will eliminate the parking lot currently used for the market. Work on Town Park is set to start in summer 2019 and will also impinge on the area.
“We have the county’s biggest farmer’s market and we have to find a beautiful space to serve as a venue for more than 130 vendors,” town spokeswoman Kerstin Anderson explained. “We were concerned about shoe-horning this great event in between two big construction projects.”
After considering three options for relocation, the Dillon Town Council decided during a work session on Tuesday, Feb. 6 to move the market for the next two summers to Lodgepole Street, where it will run along the shores of Dillon near Marina Park.
“We think it’s going to be a really great location because it’s so scenic and because it’s a straight shot, but the goal is to eventually get the farmer’s market back into it’s home in Town Park in 2020,” Anderson said.
The new location will also put the market on the doorstep of the Dillon Amphitheatre, which is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar overhaul and is expected to re-open this summer.
Most of Lodgepole will be closed during the market, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday from June to mid-September, but town officials say the impact to homeowners there will be minimal.
“By starting it right past Timberline we do not actually affect any of the access to any of those condos along the entirety of Lodgepole, so none of those people will be affected as far as access to their parking goes,” said Matt Miano, the town’s events manager.
Construction at Sail Lofts is expected to begin in June, but the first phases of the Town Park overhaul won’t begin until next year. Initial work will include construction of new sewer and curb infrastructure, but the small field will eventually be leveled out and expanded.
“That’s slated for 2019 but our thought was to get ahead of it and figure out a couple-year plan for the farmer’s market where we could continue to execute that at a high level while still accomplishing these construction goals — both the private ventures and what we’ve got going on,” Miano said.
Town staff presented two other options to council — the Marina Park parking lot or Lake Dillon Drive on the Town Hall side — but both of those options would’ve reduced the number of vendors at the market by about 40.
Some council members were concerned about parking, potential impacts to nearby condos and the reactions of at least five homeowner’s associations along Lodgepole. Ultimately, however, the drawbacks of all the other options left council with little choice.
“Lake Dillon Drive has always been an attractive possibility, but when you look at all of the negatives you pretty quickly realize it’s not feasible,” Miano said during the work session.
Council directed staff to go with the Lodgepole option but instructed them to reach out to nearby homeowners and address any concerns they might have.
“It seems like our best and only option,” councilwoman Carolyn Skowyra said.
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