Estes Park is the gateway to the east side of Rocky Mountain Park and this year was its 100th anniversary. There are many summer homes in the area and it is a destination for a broad spectrum of nationalities, income levels, and interests. I started doing this show in 2010, and I have done it every year since then. I also do the Memorial Day show in Estes Park. Gross sales at the September Labor Day show since 2010 have been in the $3-$5K range, and I have considered it a good solid show. The show is produced by the Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary, Inc. and they do an all-around EXCELLENT job!!!! The town is packed for the weekend, and leading up to the show there was a lot of promotion on Facebook. The show is setup with 103 booths set up around the perimeter of Bond Park and in the parking lot for the town hall. Clean, indoor, accessible restrooms are in the town hall.
SETUP AND TAKE DOWN. Set up officially begins at 9:00am on Friday but Rotarians are present to check you in as early as 7:30am. If you are early you can park at your site to unload. Street parking is available within a block of the show, but oversize vehicle and trailers have to park at the fairgrounds. Free shuttle service is available from there, and in town. Volunteers are available to assist with unloading and set up.
Takedown begins at 3:00pm on Monday and volunteers were there to help. Like set up, traffic was controlled and vehicles were not allowed in until you were ready to load. After paying your sales tax, you get a yellow ticket. When your booth is knocked down and you are ready to load you get a blue pass to bring your vehicle in. We loaded around 7:30pm.
WEATHER. Temperatures were in the 70’s. There were brief showers Sunday. An unweighted booth went over in a gust of wind Friday night and another had breakage knocked off a wall.
THE SHOW. The town was packed with people and thousands went through the art show. There was seldom a time when people were not in my booth, and I had several repeat clients. Belts were my top seller, with holsters, suspenders, spur straps, and several custom orders thrown in. My sales were in the $4-5K range, and my largest sale was $475 for a silver mounted headstall and two breast collars (horse gear). There was a good balance of all art/craft mediums including edibles like jellies and salsas. There is no buy/sell at this show. Nuts and bolts for the show are in www.artshowreviews.com. The Rotarians have coffee and goodies in the morning, and booth sitters. All taxes are paid to the Rotary at the end of the show.
ANALYSIS. I have come close to hitting the “home run” of $5K gross sales at this show a couple times. My inventory of flasks and checkbooks was pretty lean by this, the last shown of the season. Most of the belts sold were plain, and only a few were the more expensive carved with or without silver buckles. I sold out of some sizes and some styles of buckles but didn’t loose and sales because of that. The Estes crowd is definitely middle class and families visiting the park. It is also a destination for Denver motorcycle clubs making the run up Big Thompson Canyon and over Trail Ridge Road.
THE OTHER FUN STUFF. There were lots of different dog breeds and babies at the show. Interacting with both was fun. We were able to rent our favorite cabin that is just up the hill from Bond Park. It was built in 1898 but it is modern and cozy. The hot tub is great after a day on the street. Our son and his family came up for a cook out Saturday and we got to visit with our college and high school age grandsons. Tuesday after the show we headed to the park and drove up Fall River Road (one lane dirt one way) up to Trail Ridge Road. We saw elk and mountain sheep.
I cannot emphasize enough the need to be in top physical condition for doing shows. I will be 72 in a couple weeks and Jean is 68. Set up takes us 7 1/2 hours of steady work and take down is 4 1/2 hours. We don’t diddle around, but we have lots of inventory. At the end of the days we are still energized and not exhausted. We do yoga 1-2 times a week and work out with a personal trainer once a week.
2. Saturday crowd
3. A pampered dog with green paws, pink and purple tail and ears.
4. Fall River Road
5. Longs Peak from Trail Ridge Road
6. Bull elk
7. Bear Bottom Cabin