Vendor objects to Winter Park’s new rules
July 2, 2010
This is a shortened version of the letter I sent to the Winter Park Town Council.
Under protest I have filed for a business license in order to take part in the Alpine ArtAffair this July. I’d like a reasonable explanation for why the town council feels it’s appropriate to charge special event vendors the same fee for a license as you charge those who operate in the town year-round.
In essence, we are being charged 52 times the amount that those businesses pay, and I can’t see that we are receiving 52 times the benefit from our licenses. I would have no grief with paying a reduced amount (say, $15-$20) for a special event license, but to expect us to pay the same amount as someone who is there year-round is completely unfair.
What your demand for a full year’s licensing fee is likely to do is drive vendors away from special events. If your desire is to kill the ArtAffair completely, why not just deny them a license and be done with it, rather than trying to slowly kill it by making it an undesirable event for artists to attend? You will, of course, also be doing away with the scholarship money that is raised by the ArtAffair, and with the money that is brought into the local economy by the artists and by those who come for the art show.
But, hey, if it’s not your child who receives a scholarship, or your business that is getting money from the extra visitors, who cares, right?
I doubt that the year-round businesses would put up with being charged over $3,000 for the right to conduct business in Winter Park. Yet, you expect the special events vendors to be happy with paying the same annual fee even though we are only there one weekend. Is that fair?
The “your license entitles you to conduct business here year round” line of reasoning is pure bull, because you know that it is not a practical solution for most of the special events vendors, some of whom drive hundreds of miles for their event.
Please reconsider and institute a reduced cost license for special events. To leave it as it stands is to admit that you favor money over fairness. Greed doesn’t look good at any time, but it is especially ugly during the current tough economic climate.
Karen Krull Robart