Very few sites offer the versatility that the Mile High Flea Market has. The open-air marketplace which sits on a whopping 80-acres near Henderson has no shortage of usage potential, many of which have come under great consideration as a result of the COVID-19 crisis as it continues to pummel the entertainment and events industries.
Considering its massive footprint and its relatively small percentage of permanent structures, Mile High Flea Market is very appealing for those who require social distance to go about their business. From concerts to graduations and even trade shows, Mile High Flea Market may soon emerge as in a principal epicenter of pandemic entertainment.
Founded in Denver, United Flea Markets a company that specializes in flea markets and swap meets acquired the historic Mile High Flea in 2009 eventually growing its fleet of fleas to 13 markets nationwide. When the coronavirus hit the US in March, despite the resilience of flea markets historically, CEO Rob Sieban decided out of an abundance of caution to close all of his properties.
During the shutdown, Sieban reworked protocols targeting sanitization practices, social distancing requirements and other necessary training areas for an eventual reopening. As the initial openings began, however, calls started to pour in — inbound inquiries regarding concerts and trade shows. Realizing there was a bigger opportunity presenting itself, United Flea Markets put together a full-scale presentation on using the grounds to recuperate the flailing entertainment and events industry. With only 26 acres occupied by physical structures and the site operating only three days a week, Mile High Flea Market was a no brainer to adapt to our socially separated normalcy. Mile High Flea Market is not alone, as United Flea Markets is set to strike a deal with an unnamed major promoter to host concerts on 11 of their 13 flea market properties.
Working with an exclusive facilitator, a middle man of sorts to provide an educated link between the promoters and United Flea Markets, Mile High Flea Market and United Flea Markets other eligible properties have worked out a situation where they’d handle the operations and logistics of the shows while the promoter would handle the booking, the concert equipment, ticketing and the concert promotion.
“We made the decision to find the most qualified partners who could come to us in a single voice with multiple shows, concerts opportunities, and being able to work and [in] exclusive capacity with this group,” said Sieban.
In the next six to eight weeks, around 10 or so events are being booked pending the governor’s regulations and CDC guidance. In addition to the coming concerts, Mile High Flea Market will continue as they have long done, booking corporate and private events, and the flea market itself will continue to occur every Friday thru Sunday as scheduled.
With the comeback of the facility amping up, Mile High Flea Maret has seen buyers have come back at 85% of normalcy while sellers and food and beverage are lagging a bit more with a bit of apprehension given the circumstances. Be that as it may, Sieban is rolling with the punches confident in the organization’s ability to adapt to the everchanging guidelines, to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing as well as monitor the situation and act accordingly. With the week to week fluctuations of the coronavirus as it affects businesses, the Mile High Flea Market is well equipped to handle the changes and if the worst were to happen, they are also prepared to shut down again if need be. However, with the final decisions looming and a schedule of shows well on its way, Denverites might be a bit closer to having live music in their lives once again.
Mile High Flea Market is located at 7007 E 88th Ave, Henderson, 80640. A list of concerts and events are still forthcoming.
All photography courtesy of Flying Fortt