Knoxville — As of Monday, the City of Knoxville received 44 vendor applications for downtown space during the July 24 RAGBRAI® event. These applications have brought in $18,000 in vendor fees, recouping some of the $25,000 the City has already directly invested in the event. The City has budgeted $50,000 for the event.
Assistant City Manager Dylan Feik said the vendors intend to sell a range of food from entire meals to sandwiches and various other kinds of ethnic food. Feik is confident that the City can find space for all of them, as well as a pair of exhibits, in the downtown area.
Feik believes that even with these mobile food vendors, downtown restaurants can expect good business. A survey has shown that over half of the riders are eager to have a "sit down" evening meal at a local establishment.
The $18,000 excludes clean up costs and costs for staff time invested in RAGBRAI®. Feik said the budget was conservative and that more vendors were accepted than originally expected.
The City is also expecting revenue from charter groups for use of City lots and parks. Costs for these depend on the equipment they bring in. Feik estimates that the City's revenue should be between $4,000-6,000 for this.
Now that the vendors are known, the next step is to design a map and plan where to put all of them. In addition to the vendors working through the City, RAGBRAI® will bring others, including bicycle repairmen. The City is expected to receive payment from RAGBRAI®, after the event, for providing space for these vendors.