2014-04-15 13:31:07 - City sends letters ordering vendors to find new spots or risk permit revocation. Reason for order proves hard to find.
Denver, CO – This week vendors who sell refreshments and hot food from their permitted locations around Colorado Rockies Coors Field were ordered to move or risk losing their vending permits. The reason was not immediately apparent, but upon further investigation vendors discovered city hall is enforcing a long unused 1994 heightened enforcement area around the stadium. The City is giving vendors 10 days to find a new location outside the enforcement area.
“We haven't been able to learn why this is suddenly a priority. Mostly we've gotten the runaround from City Hall,” said vendor Adam Kulikowski.
Upon receiving the city's letter, Kulikowski contacted Denver Public Works Permit Operations to find out what individual or agency wanted vendors moved. Public Works said
it was the Rockies. “But when I called the Rockies, they said I would need to speak to the board that handles their lease,” Kulikowski said.
Stadium District Board chairman Ray Baker initially said he would help vendors remain in their present locations, then called back to say he could not help. “Next I called Hal Roth of the Rockies legal team, but was told in no uncertain terms to get lost. They didn't have time to discuss the issue with me. I thought it was interesting Mr. Roth did not care what so ever that this could negatively impact these business owners ability to support their families,” Kulikowski said.
Kulikowski again called Denver Public Work Permit Operations to ask who had ordered the removal of vendors. “An official said if they told me it would be political suicide. So I called City Council person Judy Montero's office. They said they would look into it, but two weeks later we've heard nothing,” Kulikowski said.
All this comes amid the construction of a new party deck at Coors Field that has brought an increase in the number of vendors. “It sure looks to we vendors like Aramark, the major big-corporate vendor, is pulling strings to have the rest of us, their competition, moved out of the way. You just know not everything is transparent when otherwise helpful officials are evasive and unusually hard to reach. They've got something to hide,” Kulikowski said.
Ultimately the City is citing pedestrian safety issues as the reason for the enforcement of 1994's heightened enforcement zone. “But they can't cite a single instance where a pedestrian has been harmed due the historical non-enforcement of this provision. Vendors are urging fans and the public at large to get involved. Vendors don't feel our voices are loud enough to make a difference,” Kulikowski said.
Vendors are asking interested parties to call the Rockies at 303-292-0200 and Christine Downs, Spokeswoman for the City of Denver, at 720-865-2578.
“We're hoping vendors, city, and stadium district can meet and find a fair solution to this problem. It's in the best interest of our fans, our community, and the local economy,” Kulikowski said.