Tourists and locals return to Seattle’s Pike Place market as pandemic restrictions relax
One of Seattle’s most iconic tourist destinations is seeing a resurgence of tourists and locals as summer is in full swing.
SEATTLE – As tourism rebounds in Washington State, Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market is seeing a surge in visitor numbers and many vendors are excited.
The 114-year-old market has become something of a ghost town once the coronavirus pandemic struck last year and Governor Jay Inslee implemented stay-at-home orders.
But more than a year later, the popular tourist spot is busier than ever, especially with summer in full swing.
“It’s busier than I expected,” said Angela Parriott, owner of Coastal Elevation. His little shop has been in Pike Place Market for 14 years.
“I think people are just thankful for being out there and doing something really normal and having other people to talk to,” Parriott said, noting the influx of visitors to the market.
The pandemic has brought a lot of economic uncertainty for the Parriott’s store. After losing two employees and a year of income, she said she was delighted to see people coming back to the market.
“I have to say that I feel like the general vibe of everyone is to be really grateful, happy and interactive,” she said.
Vendors at all levels of the market said they were happy to see the halls filled with people again. “It’s like the floodgates open and everyone is like, oh, we can get out now,” said Jason Brown, owner of Old Seattle Paperworks.
Brown’s store has been at Pike Place Market for 43 years, however, he says none have been slower than in 2020.
“It was almost like a downtime on a Tuesday, a weekday, but just overnight exploded… even on weekdays,” Brown said.
Now, as tourists and locals pack Pike Place Market, vendors are advancing with cautious optimism.
“It feels like it’s leading to a new normal, what it might look like,” Parriott said. “I feel really good that the market is open and I feel really good to be here.”