14erFest2021_vendor-vehicles

14erFest vendors filled a couple blocks of Buena Vista’s East Main Street the last weekend in September. Owners of East Main businesses say vibes were good and so were sales.

“It was amazing. There was such a great vibe,” said Simple Eatery’s Michael Gartner, reflecting on 14erFest. “Having the street closed down, and the music – it was probably the best vibe we’ve felt all summer to be honest.”

Other business owners gave similar reports about the festival, which took place Sept. 24–26, saying that they enjoyed the atmosphere and sales boosts.

“Yeah we had a lot of business from it,” said Craig Cardwell, owner of Mount Antero Treasures, an East Main jewelry shop. “We were right on the corner where it was fenced off. We had a pretty good turnout for people stopping in.

“I think it’s a great event for the community,” he said. “The live music was great. I could hear it right out of my shop door right here.”

Paddlesports outfitters CKS Main Street was all-around busy according to worker Taylor Chartier.

“I feel like it was a pretty steady week in general. I think from 14erFest and Billy Strings there were more people in town in general,” she said. “We definitely had a good number of people coming in for fishing licenses and OHVs.”

“Kept us busy, so we’re grateful,” she said.

Business owners also reported feeling positively about the block of East Main Street being closed to vehicle traffic from Colorado Avenue to Court Street.

“It certainly didn’t change or impact people. They were all on the streets right in front of us,” said Gartner. “Having the band stand right out front, we cut our music and had people enjoying it right on the front patio. It was that outdoor vibe that we’ve been missing.”

“It was set up a little bit better. In 2019 it felt like it was blocking off the businesses. It wasn’t quite like that this year,” said Victoria Hock, owner of Rock Paper Scissors.

Hock said she would prefer vendor booths back-to-back in the center of the street, facing storefronts.

Nevertheless, Hock said that the festival was good for business this year.

“It was good. It was definitely a busy weekend,” she said. “It’s a little bit of a different crowd for us, but we still got some business from it, I think.”

With good vibes reported all around, 14erFest made a strong return and Gartner said he’s already looking forward to 2022.

“Ready for the next,” he said.

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