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Cañon City Farmers Market

June 4, 2020

The decision to cancel this year’s Cañon City Farmers Market season was made largely because new insurance regulations issued directly from the insurance industry in January would have required us to force EVERY vendor and participant to purchase their own liability insurance. This meant that the Market could not purchase liability insurance (to cover injuries and/or damages to people, vendor property, or city property), which meant we could not acquire a public park permit to operate in Veterans park, nor could we obtain insurance to operate elsewhere. When our veteran vendors were informed about the new insurance requirements, in January, many of those who responded opted out of participating because they could not afford to, or declined to, purchase insurance. Most of the people contacted failed to respond with any interest or commitment to participate. Potential vendors, when informed of the insurance rules, lost interest. With solid commitments from only five vendors, it has become unfeasible to stage the Market this year.

While many parties have worked to try to convince our insurer to allow exemptions for rural markets like ours, or for individual participants, the insurer has remained firm in its demand that it be allowed to vett all participants. It should be understood that the rules apply to ALL farmers markets in CO, and the consequences of operating without adhering to the requirements are severe, and could potentially result in litigation against not only the market, but its management as well.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was a major contributor to the challenges facing the Market, the insurance situation, which has negatively impacted many farmers markets throughout Colorado and other states, is  at the heart of the decision to cancel. Since the insurance requirements will be in place from here on, the future of this and other rural farmers markets is uncertain. As future decisions are reached regarding future market seasons, the public will be updated