Monday, June 14, 1999

New contract may cost
flea-market vendors

Rates for sellers may rise at the
Aloha Stadium flea market

Star-Bulletin staff


Jim Cablay and his wife have made a living selling pareus, lavalavas and other beach cover-ups at the Aloha Stadium flea market.

But Cablay and other vendors are worried about their futures because the state is putting the contract for the flea market up for competitive bid.

"The state wants more money. They want to get it out of us," Cablay told other vendors at a rally at the market yesterday. "Any new bidder is not going to lower the rent."

Shin Lin of Lin's Market, which operates a stall at the stadium, said if the rent is raised, there will be fewer vendors, and fewer vendors may mean fewer tourists and customers coming to the flea market.

Lin said he pays $1,000 a month -- $42.75 per stall per day -- for his booth at the flea market.

But the stadium authority says it would be remiss if it didn't allow competitive bids for the contract that expires Sept. 30.

Cablay and other vendors are organizing to try and stop the competitive bids and so they can have a voice no matter who the contract is awarded to.

"Even if we can't stop the change of management, we can still ask for certain things in a new contract," said vendor Gregory Brayman.

He said there should be more advertising for the flea market and more effort to attract Japanese tourists. The vendors also want longer business hours, better food stands and to be able to retain their locations if new management is selected.

Enrique Maymi said he had to sleep in line in his car for four years to get his current location.

The current vendor, Aloha Flea Market Inc., would like the state to exercise an option to extend the current contract for two more years.

But Deborah Ishihara, the Stadium Authority's administrative services officer, said Aloha Flea Market was the only bidder when the contract was awarded three years ago and it is in the state's interest to get new bids for the contract, since there have been other inquiries.

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