Farmers' Market to open in new Hailey
Schedule tentative until permit issue resolved
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
The opening date for the
Hailey Farmers’ Market is Thursday, June 3. This year the market is moving from
its previous location on Croy and River streets to the city parking lot at Bullion
and River streets.
The market will begin
its 11th season on shaky ground, said Market Manager Mark Cook. There will be
a fee increase for vendors. Instead of the current $60 seasonal fee, the new
season fee will be a minimum of $300 for the season plus 5 percent commission
"I have no choice
but to pass (the fee) imposed by the city on to Farmers’ Market vendors,"
Cook said. "Even then, I don’t know if the Hailey Farmers’ Market will
meet expenses unless we get a lot of vendors willing to pay the price."
The city is in the midst
of establishing new special event permits, which replace previous vendor regulations
repealed last fall.
The city is no longer
issuing permits for individual vendors. Vendors wishing to do business in the
city must be attached to a special event or a "bricks and mortar"
No permits will be issued
until new fees are set in June.
But, working within the
spirit of the new rules, the city made an exception for the Farmers’ Market.
An interim arrangement will help farmers get to market with the first harvest
of the season for opening date.
Since the Farmers’ Market
is not a not-for-profit organization, the city decided to charge a special event
fee of $100 per week.
Council members view the
fee as a bargain compared to other cities and only fair given that future special
event applicants will also have to pay fees.
The jump will be a stretch
for farmers coming to Hailey, Cook said. Markets in other cities can pay higher
fees because they draw more vendors. Cook estimated that it would take about
25 vendors—spreading out the cost of the permit—to make the market a viable
Despite the challenges,
Cook said the Hailey Farmers’ Market would endeavor to continue. This year the
Farmers’ Market will be held every Thursday, with extended hours from 2 to 7