Outdoor market at Buck Hill approved
A Lakeville couple is launching a swap meet-style outdoor market at Buck Hill in Burnsville.
The multiple-vendor business is a new venture for Vaughn and Jennifer Wallace and yet another means by which Buck Hill, the venerable ski slope, has sought to buttress its seasonal income from skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing.
The City Council voted unanimous approval May 22 for Stop, Swap and Shop. The council approved an interim use permit that will allow the outdoor marketplace to operate from May 1 through Labor Day in September for the next two seasons. After that, if the Wallaces plan to continue the business, Buck Hill could apply for a permanent use through a planned unit development change.
Operation will be limited to Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Wallaces plan to open on July 6, according to the business’ website.
Vendors will pay to rent a lot at the business, which will be in the ski area’s parking lot. The Wallaces expect to attract new and used merchandise wholesalers, artists and crafters, artisan designers, antiques dealers, area farmers, hobbyists, collectors, charitable organizations and perhaps even local garage sales.
Vaughn, who used to live in San Diego, modeled the business in part on Kobey’s Swap Meet at the San Diego Sports Arena, according his wife. He quit his job to work on the business plan full time, she said.
“We love the Buck Hill location and just think it’s a fabulous use for it,” Jennifer said in an interview.
Vendors will need city licenses, such as transient-merchant permits and resellers licenses.
Because of the time it takes to secure resellers licenses, which require police investigations, the market may open with mostly artists and crafters, according to Jennifer. The couple hope to open with about 25 vendors and build from there, she said.
Council Member Mary Sherry voted her approval after securing a condition that vendors won’t be allowed to camp overnight on the grounds.
“I’ve seen some of these places,” Sherry said. “They’re really unsightly, and I don’t want it to look like a group that has decided to occupy Buck Hill.”
No overnight storage will be allowed. Vendors will be required to clear the premises at the end of business.
The market will have a “low impact” on the adjacent neighborhood and is a “well-designed off-season use from the peak winter activities,” a city staff report said.
To generate added income, Buck Hill already has an event center and Halloween haunted houses and leases space for a seasonal garden center.
“Buck Hill provides a regional draw into Burnsville, providing an economic benefit to the community,” the report said. Increasing year-round revenue “allows Buck Hill Inc. to further reinvest” in the ski facility and “remain competitive in the industry.”
For more information, visit www.stopswapandshop.com.