In 2017, Fergusons Downtown Co-Founder, Jen Taler, created Market in the Alley that would showcase local artisans and vintage curators.
While working on renovating the historic 1940’s Fergusons Motel, Jen started hosting an outdoor Market to bring together the community and support for the creators around Las Vegas before the opening of the renovated motel.
Her vision was when the renovated motel opened, the old hotel rooms would be small shops owned by locals, embracing the building’s original architecture and design but outfitted to fit each business’s personality.
In June of that year, Jen Taler, along with her friend Nicole Camacho, put on their first Market in an alley across the street from then under-construction, Fergusons Motel.
In 115+ degree heat, 14 small businesses popped up on a Sunday afternoon.
The alley where the Market took place was bare bones, strewn together with a few scant wooden canopies with burlap overhangs and a handful of scrap squares of turf. In the months to follow, the alley slowly became a colorful, sort-of-underground off the beaten path of downtown Las Vegas.
Every month on the third weekend, a few handfuls of Market vendors popped up and slowly, it grew. Artists began painting the walls, musicians began taking the stage, and by mid-2018, word about the little “Market in the Alley” spread and it was growing fast.
By 2019, the Market in the Alley had outgrown its original structures, expanded down near the neighboring Bunkhouse Saloon and Fergusons Motel was finally well underway with renovation and had an opening day in sight.
That January, with the team growing, the community growing, & word of mouth of this special hidden gem, Market in the Alley, we went from 18 vendors to over 50 vendors a month and implement sustainability initiatives as well as interactive workshops.
That year, Market also expanded to double-days, often with a Saturday evening Market followed by a Sunday afternoon Market, bringing upwards of 1,000+ in attendance each day.
What started as a quiet, grassroots movement to sustain local pop up makers and curators, by the end of 2019, became a downtown staple for the creative community of Las Vegas.
After the grand opening of the renovated Fergusons Motel- now Fergusons Downtown- in December of 2019, Market in the Alley continues to grow and support local small businesses from all around the valley.
With over half of the brick and mortars at the old motel having gotten their start with Market in the Alley, we could not be more proud of what this event does for our community.
2020 has brought new challenges in the scope of event production, but the team continues to face them head-on with open minds and hearts.
Until Market in the Alley can light up East Fremont again, we will continue supporting our small makers and curators through ”Mini Markets” on our rooftop at Fergusons Downtown every other weekend beginning on September 26th, and with our newest project, The Market Shop: a concept store carrying products from many of our Market in the Alley creatives.
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