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Royal Oak Farmers Market Pitches Tent Idea

Market Master asks city leaders to consider allowing the market to leave a tent up in the market's west lot during the summer months of June, July and August.

Tents have become a regular addition to the Royal Oak Farmers Market during the summer. Credit: Judy Davids
Tents have become a regular addition to the Royal Oak Farmers Market during the summer. Credit: Judy Davids
The Royal Oak Farmer Market made a pitch for a semi-permanent tent on Saturday at the city's strategic planning meeting. 

Market Master Shelly Mazur and Department of Public Service Director Greg Rassel asked city leaders to consider allowing the market to leave a tent up in the market's west lot during the summer months of June, July and August.

The market is outgrowing its 22,000 square-foot building on Saturdays and Sundays, according to Mazur. There are over 100 applications on a waiting list to be a part of Saturday's farmers market and another 50 or 60 applications for Sunday's flea market, she said.

At the same time, requests to rent the market for events, such as Baconfest and the Camp Casey Summer Beer Fest, are also "going up, up and up," Mazur said.

"With all the rentals we've been having...they have been putting (large) tents up in the west lot. Well that tent can't go up on a Saturday after the market closes so obviously it has to go up on Friday. So we have been utilizing that tent that's already there for all these vendors that I can't fit in the building," Mazur told city officials. 

Mazur said the cost of renting a large clear span tent for a week, including someone to supervise its maintenance is $500. She estimates she can fit as many as 20 vendors in an event-size tent. She charges $30, so that's an extra $1,200 per weekend, she said.

Mazur pointed out, "six out the the 12 weeks of summer there is going to be a tent there anyway."

The market would like to try leaving a tent up this summer. If the tent is successful, then market may consider purchasing its own tent. The size tent the market needs costs $17,000 to $20,000, Mazur said.


What about lost parking?



There are 42 parking spaces in the lot west of the market, which generate approximately $6,000 of revenue in the summer months, according to Rassel.

"Much of that parking, I assume, would just shift to the east lot," Rassel said. "There has never been a shortage of parking in the east lot, except during market hours."

In addition, more market parking should be available in the fall. In October, the Royal Oak City Commission approved a $75,320 demolition contract to remove the buildings at 225 S. Troy St., 123 Knowles St., and the garage at 117 Knowles St. to make way for a 93-space parking lot.

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