Late last year, two flea market vendors and food concessionaires decided to settle in Kingman, Ariz., and open a swap meet. Linda and Al Cockey opened their Mohave Treasures Outlet with high hopes, according to a news report in the Kingman Daily Miner. They got a permit from the town of Kingman in May, and they held a soft opening in June this year. They scheduled a grand opening for July 15. But it was not to be.
On July 7, the Kingman City Council okayed a conditional use permit for Mohave Treasures Outlet, but with a stipulation that the market make improvements, including a water meter, handicapped accessible bathroom and water fountain, a fire exit, and so on. Mayor John Salem warned the Cockeys, “Fix (the water issue) within 30 days or you’re out of business,” according to a report in the Miner.
The owners did not comply, and the Mohave Treasures Outlet closed its doors.
However, a white knight has appeared to rescue the swap meet. Peggy Sides, a local flea market vendor and retailer, has picked up the reins, made the necessary improvements, and hopes to reopen the swap meet in a month or two. “I’ve been in swap meets and in business all my life. I had a chance to get this swap meet, so I did,” she says.
What’s more, the Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission gave its okay for the flea market to go forward at a meeting on Tuesday. “That was approved with conditions,” says Sandy Fellows, an administrative assistant for Planning and Zoning. “They need a secondary exit, ADA rest rooms, ADA drinking fountain, and a service sink because they are selling food.” She also mentioned a health inspection and a parking inspection. The vote was six to zero in favor. “They still have to go through the City Council,” Fellows adds, “As long as they are moving forward, I’m sure the city will work with them. They want them to succeed, of course.” The City Council next meets Oct. 4.
According to Peggy Sides, the requirements won’t be a high hurdle. “I told them right off the bat, ‘I’ll do what you want me to do, because you can’t fight City Hall.’ And that’s what I did,” she says. “I had to go through the whole rigmarole, but they approved it last night as long as we follow through with everything. We’ve put in a bathroom and a water fountain — necessary stuff, really.”
Sides has been in the swap meet business all her life, locally for the last 16 years, in addition to other retail and business ventures. She has sold every kind of swap meet product, she says, including “knives and flags and toys and incense.”
The flea market has 10 spaces inside and 10 outside; there may be a chance to expand later. Sides says that she hopes to arrange music and attractions for a grand opening a month or so after the market starts, “but right now we’re just trying to get open.” For more information, contact market owner Peggy Sides at (928) 715-7367.
Photo credits, with thanks: Bing Maps and the Kingman Daily Miner.