Tuesday, September 21, 1999

to operate
flea market

The movie theater firm says
it's sensitive to vendors' concerns
and it will meet their needs

By Debra Barayuga


A local entertainment company that has run the Kam Drive-In Swap Meet for 35 years will take over operations at the Aloha Stadium flea market beginning Oct. 1.

Consolidated Amusement Company, Ltd. was formally awarded the contract today, said Lloyd Unebasami, state procurement officer.

Under the new contract, the state will pay Consolidated 12-percent of its annual revenue or $15,000 a month, whichever is higher, to run the flea market, Unebasami said. The state will keep the rest of the profits. The previous operator, Aloha Flea Market, Inc., paid the state $16,000 a day or about $3.8 million in the past year.

Phil Shimmin, Consolidated's president, pledged to operate the flea market for the betterment of vendors, customers and the stadium. "We're committed to making this the best possible experience for everyone concerned," he said in a written statement. "Consolidated is very pleased to be selected on the merits of our proposal."

Shimmin said Consolidated is sensitive to the concerns of vendors and will use its experience running the Kam Drive-In Super Swap Meet to ensure a smooth transition. "We are especially mindful of the hundreds of vendors who rely on the Aloha Stadium Flea Market for their livelihood and we will meet their needs during and after the transition."

Consolidated is also the state's largest movie theater company.

A Circuit judge yesterday had denied an Aloha Flea Market vendor's motion for an order to block the state from taking over the swap meet after Sept. 30, when the current contract ends.

Judge Gary Chang denied Tran's motion, saying that while the court is sensitive to vendors concerns, irreparable harm is speculative at this time.

Tran, owner of several T-shirt stalls at the Aloha Flea Market for 16 years, claimed that the state has failed to adopt administrative rules governing stall assignments to rental fees and hours of operation. Before the stall reservation system was established by Medeiros 10 years ago, Tran remembers 600 cars lining up on Salt Lake Boulevard trying to get in to reserve the best stalls. Fights broke out when people started cutting in line, Chow said. Without uniform rules and regulations, the contractor will enforce decisions in an arbitrary and capricious manner, he said.

A Circuit Court judge and federal judge earlier this month denied similar motions filed by Aloha Flea Market president Edward Medeiros. Medeiros has held the contract for 20 years. The Stadium Authority exercised its option not to renew the contract in a vote earlier this month and sought requests for proposals. Medeiros said the decision to terminate his contract is purely political.

Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki argued that by law, matters relating to the internal management of an organization, such as the custodial management of a property, is exempt from administrative rule requirements. "This is a property management issue."

He said the Stadium Authority's administrative rules are sufficient and addresses the vendors' concerns.

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