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City of Cleveland changes permit process for vendors

Posted at 6:04 PM, Aug 02, 2017

The area around Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field can be very lucrative for vendors selling their goods on game day. 

But how the vendors get those sports changed on Tuesday. That’s when vendors were required to buy a new permit.

"July 31st came up for a renewal and they decided it would be assigned spots," said vendor Vern Thompson.

In the past, it was first come first served when it came to staking out a spot on game days in Cleveland. 

Thompson said the 50 reserved spots were sold out in less than 30 minutes and, despite the city limiting five spots per person, Thompson said one person was able to snatch the majority of those vendor spots. 

"He was trying to monopolize the city," said Daniel Camplese. Camplese and Thompson own Vern and Ozzie's.

"A lot of people called to complain," said Thompson. "As of yesterday, we thought our business would be gone."

On Wednesday morning, the two recent Cleveland State graduates got a call from the city to come to City Hall. That's when they did receive a new permit. 

"They found out the individual who took all the spots was wrong," Thompson said.

Thompson says the city was looking into reports that one vendor snatched up the majority of the permits.

"I think Cleveland is doing a great job fixing the issue," added Camplese.

A city spokesperson says there is a new, computer generated process in place that randomly selects numbers for the vendors in order to designate their location.

"It's designed to make the process fair," said Cleveland City Spokesperson Dan Williams.

Williams said he did not know if the city was investigating claims that one person bought the majority of spots.