A history of differences between vendors and shop owners on The Parkway almost put an end to the market. Sometimes people can work together.
RICHLAND, WA - A history of differences between vendors and shop owners on The Parkway almost put an end to the market. Sometimes people can work together.
It was the farmers market that almost never was. To bring it back organizers tell NBC Right Now, the people of The Parkway had to reach a compromise.
"There were just some issues. It was a good discussion with the merchants. There's always been issues with parking," explained market manager Kathy Hanson.
When the vendors roll in, where do the people park? The compromise was to create one parking lot designated for shoppers while having market visitors park in their own lot.
"In the past the market has been rights outside our facility and people have walked by not even knowing we were here. This year we thought we'd get out and join the market and what a wonderful way to get out and meet the community," said Mark Whitten who owns Parkway shop Riverside Therapeutic Massage.
Vendor participation has smoothed over some rough patches. Whitten is even getting hands-on as he gives volunteers free introductory massages at the market.
"We're just working better together. A lot of issues were aired out and we have a 3 year contract and it's an awesome market," said Hanson.
Organizers are even working with the shops to make sure the way they place vendors is friendly. Before, some tents were set up in front of their competing businesses. Now, those spots are spread out. The market actually had one of it’s best first days on Friday. Growers were selling out of their produce early in the day.
"Always in the past the first market is smaller. This has been really nice. Great show of support is what it feels like."
The numbers don't lie. Over 5,000 people enjoyed the Market At The Parkway Friday. Organizers hope to get even more shop owners involved to really make the shopping area come alive during the market season.