A new flea market has gotten a last minute approval — just four days before its scheduled opening. The Cody, Wyo., planning board gave its okay to the Cody Outdoor Market on June 14, with the market set to open on June 18. Not knowing if his swap meet would get the okay to open or not, Rick Wills, owner of the flea market, went ahead and organized it anyway. “I’ve been setting up for the last week and a half in the hope that it would go through,” he says. “I rolled the dice on this one.”
And his gamble has paid off. He has vendors lined up, ads placed in the local paper, and the Chamber of Commerce is scheduled to cut the opening day ribbon. For an outdoor swap meet in a windy spot, Wills did not want vendor canopies flying off, so he put in 40 canopies of his own, ones that he trusts to stay put. “I provide the canopies because the high wind conditions here,” he says.
So this weekend will be a celebration for Wills and his Cody Outdoor Market, but the story could concluded ended up with a much less happy ending. Wills’ first proposal was for a market in downtown Cody, was shot down, defeated by local brick and mortar retailers who did not want to compete for sometimes scarce tourist dollars. However, that turned out to be a lucky break too, after a fashion. Talking about the second site, on the outskirts of town, Wills says, “Fortunately this location – which is superior in every way – became available. I have RV parking, room for a gazillion cars, and space to expand that I did not have downtown.”
Food vendor Sharon Foley agrees. “There’s plenty of room, there’s parking, and I think it’s a much better location,” she says. Her business, Cabin Fever Smokehouse, will be part of the new flea market’s food court. She is enthusiastic about the market. “I think it’s a good opportunity for individuals who have small businesses. It sounds like there will be a wide variety of vendors,” she says. “For it just starting, there are quite a few.”
Wills is charging $25 per day, $150 per day, and $550 per month for a booth at the Cody Outdoor Market, which will be open every single day through Oct. 1. For more information, e-mail Wills at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (307) 250-5003.
Photo credit, with thanks: Google Maps.