Nestled along Interstate 75 in Lake Park is the relatively new Lake Park Flea Market — an indoor flea market featuring a wide variety of venders.
The flea market, which holds over 16 acres of retail space, opened in December and is air conditioned to help keep customers and vendors cool during the hot summer months.
The flea market, which is owned by Suncoast RV owner Fred Hassan, is managed by his niece, Lorraine Clayborn.
According to Clayborn, her uncle wanted to start something that would attract not only older visitors but younger as well.
“He has the campgrounds (and) he has a lot of older people camp. A lot of younger people are getting into it. (The flea market is) something they can do as they are here camping,” Clayborn said. “It’s something to attract people and give vendors the opportunity to try and get a business going.”
Lake Park Flea Market is open three days a week, but according to Clayborn, Friday’s are usually slow due to vendors moving in and cleaning their booths. Clayborn also does a lot of paperwork on Fridays, meeting with new vendors and getting them ready for their booth.
“Friday’s are slow, I will say that, but on Saturday and Sunday, it usually gets busier,” Clayborn said.
Also in the same building as the flea market are several other businesses Hassan owns, including Suncoast RV and Pay 4 Less, a store that offers a bit of everything at discount prices.
There will also be a restaurant opening soon called Uncle Freddy’s. The grand opening date hasn’t been finalized.
“Visitors will be able to go in there, have a drink, have dinner, and they’re going to have karaoke, too,” she said.
One Hundred Vendors and Counting
According to Clayborn, as of the weekend of July 10-11, there are over 100 vendors located at Lake Park Flea Market.
One vendor has even rented 16 booths to make one huge market for themselves.
“They have 16 booths,” Clayborn said. “They are basically like a dollar store. They have everything. They have everything from A to Z, from batteries to bras.”
The flea market has a variety of vendors, offering everything from antiques and brand new DVDs to computer repairs and even insurance.
“We have an insurance guy, David Ellington, who comes every weekend,” Clayborn said. “We have a lady who does energizing. It’s not massaging and she’s getting her own booth in a private office. She’ll arrange it from five minutes to however long (the person wants). There’s some food vendors here that sell popcorn, hot dogs and nachos.”
Ethelen Hayes, who owns Chrisgene’s, a booth that specializes in fashionable purses, jewelry and more, has been a part of Lake Park Flea Market for three months.
“I always wanted to own a boutique,” Hayes said. “So, this is my way of trying it out.”
Mike and Anita Postell own Real Scents, a booth specializing in designer perfumes and colognes. Offering the latest fragrances from Usher, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton and Ed Hardy, the Postells also have fragrances sets at low prices.
“We’re just trying it out,” Mike Postell said. “You can’t get lower prices anywhere.”
Robert Johnson, who owns the appropriately titled Robert Johnson’s This and That, has been operating his booth for the past five months.
Johnson sells a variety of things, from special Betty Boop merchandise to signs and photos.
“Business has been up and down,” Johnson said. “It hasn’t been that bad.”