For Patrice Brigio, timing is everything.
Brigio moved to Salt Lake City from New Jersey two months ago because of a job possibility. In the meantime, she asked about work as a street vendor and learned the city was preparing to allow them for the first time in May.So she put her name in a drawing to determine who gets to sell from the best spots in town.
Thursday afternoon, city officials picked her name first.
"I'm a little dumbfounded. I'm shaking," she said.
Brigio chose the corner of 100 South and Main Street to sell sandwiches. It wasn't a whim. Her research showed pedestrian traffic is heavy in that area.
"I'll get the traffic from the ZCMI Center and the Crossroads Plaza and from two banks," she said. "I did a lot of legwork on this."
Brigio sold hot dogs from a cart in Tampa, Fla., when she was a college student. She signed up for three other locations in Salt Lake City and will be helped by a sister, fiance and other people she has yet to hire.
More than 80 people signed up to participate in the drawing. Street vendors will be allowed in Sugar House as well.
Doug Dansie, the city's community planner, pleaded with vendors to stay within the rules city officials have set. "It's important that what happens this first year is positive," he said. "I spent two years politicking downtown merchants to get their support for this."
City officials said street vendors fit into their plans to turn downtown into a vibrant place. Downtown merchants were skeptical of the plan at first, but they were mollified by promises the vendors won't compete directly with them. The Chamber of Commerce endorsed the idea, although not unanimously.
The city will rotate its vending permits each year in the interest of fairness. Eight vendors will be allowed on each square block, with two per street. Now that the best sites are taken, the city will begin taking applications for the rest of the sites.
Art Carlson of Art's Carts was chosen second in the drawing. He chose to begin selling quarter-pound franks on the corner of South Temple and Main streets.
"If you don't have location, you don't have anything," he said, adding that vendors could earn from $100 to $300 per day depending on where they stand.
Hawking their wares
The first 10 sites chosen by vendors in the city's drawing and what those vendors plan to sell:
1. Main at 100 South, north side (sandwiches).
2. South Temple at Main (hot dogs).
3. Main at South Temple (ice cream, yogurt and fruit juices).
4. Main at 100 South, south side (Oriental food).
5. Main in front of ZCMI Center (hot dogs).
6. Main at 200 South, in front of First Interstate Bank (food).
7. Post Office Place near the New Yorker (flowers).
8. South Temple between the Crossroads Plaza and Temple Square Hotel (food).
9. West Temple across from Symphony Hall (ice cream).
10. Main at 100 South, in front of First Security Bank (food).