No doubt about it, the art fairs hurt retailers |

No doubt about it, the art fairs hurt retailers

Kristina NethawayKristina/Gold Jewelry DesignBreckenridge

No doubt about it, the arts and craft fairs are fun. However, I’m among the 33 Breckenridge retailers asking the town to shift the location or timing of the fairs. Having the fairs at the entrance to the town, on the two busiest weekends of the summer, definitely hurts my business.It feels like what Ross Perot said about job loss from the North American Free Trade Agreement, “a big sucking sound.” I’ve survived here for 15 years, though, so it isn’t life or death for my business. I’m worried about the people starting out, trying to make it here.In the past few years, we’ve lost so many great independent shops. My favorite was Skilled Hands Gallery, which used to sell Colorado art and crafts. It’s gone now, due directly to the fairs, according to its owner. Many shops have failed in the past three years. I’m glad that real estate offices are now occupying many of those spaces; otherwise we’d have many more empty storefronts.I think we need to maintain a critical mass for shoppers. We need enough interesting stores to draw people into town even though it’s harder to park here than it is at a shopping mall. I urge the town council to consider shifting the craft fairs, so that the fairs enhance the town core rather than endanger it.

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