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Aspen, Colo.--Local business owners in a popular Colorado resort town are calling for its government to impose restrictions on the number of permits granted to pop-up shops they say take advantage of the most profitable weeks of the year.

According to The Aspen Times, store owners, including an independent jeweler, have asked the Aspen City Council to take a second look at the permits it approves for retailers who invade the city during the peak months of July and December, “leeching millions of dollars in sales from local stores.”

The mountainous city of Aspen has about 22 jewelry stores, which are up against shows, fairs and other pop-up shops that permeate the city during its most lucrative retail weeks, Christmas and the Fourth of July, says Don Stone, president of Aspen’s Pierre Famille, a jewelry store that specializes in period pieces.

“There’s only so much of the pie, and now it gets split up in an even more fine-grained way, and the weeks that are selected (for these shows) are of course the highest-grossing weeks of the year,” he tells National Jeweler. “This hurts jewelry stores.”

Stone says these temporary retailers come to the city and pay a few hundred dollars for a booth, while Aspen’s permanent jewelry stores, art galleries and other businesses invest in rent and taxes all year along.

“We’re looking for a level playing field,” he says. “This is not Manhattan that can sustain 10 shows during any given weekend. This is a community that in the highest season might have 40,000 people. Don’t you think that’s a little overdone? Does the Aspen experience really require so many jewelry stores?”

The jeweler said while he doesn’t want to see these shows and events banned in Aspen, they should be moved to the city’s “shoulder” seasons, “something other than the two highest-grossing weeks.”

“Out of 52 weeks, (the pop-up shops) select Christmas week in the winter and Fourth of July in the summer,” Stone says. “That’s not a level playing field, and for this impact to occur on these weeks is something that we feel the city should be aware of.”


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