Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Breckenridge Art Fair - Benefit or Bane

One segment of Breckenridge's business community claims competition from out-of-town art dealers at the July 4th Breckenridge Art Fair is having a negative effect on their sales during the holiday.

"I think without question it impacts the high-end specialty retailers," said Breckenridge Gallery owner Gary Freese.

"I go back to the contention that the town is gridlocked on that weekend," said Freese, in the gallery business locally since 1969.

Along with other gallery owners in town, Freese thinks it doesn't make sense for the town to hold an event that essentially creates competition for local merchants - especially on town property.

Town officials, meanwhile, believe the art fair adds to the overall draw of the town during the holiday, and they have a stack of statistics to prove it, including a 2005 RRC Associates survey showing that at least some visitors come specifically for the art fair.

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