The Big Cypress Market Place Flea Market in East Naples is back on the trail, and new owner Mark Hintz knows his business. Hintz has been running significant, even renowned Flea Markets in different capacities for 25 years and has big plans to change the defunct facility into a successful operation. With the help of his two sons, Operations Assistant Manager Christopher, 21, and Jack of All Trades Matthew, 18, Hintz plans to bring the facility back to life sometime in January 2012.
Hintz packed up and moved here with his sons from Fort Lauderdale this week with high hopes of turning one family’s misfortune into his family’s treasure. He is the President of Innovative Property Association, LLC, which is dba Big Cypress Market Place.
“The old owners, the Basik family, overbuilt and mismanaged this place,” said Hintz. “They wanted to be everything to everyone, but you can’t do that. I’m going to focus on less is more,” he said. “They had never been in the Flea Market business before, only high end residential. I think that was their mistake,” he said.
Hintz met with officials from Suburban bank, which took over the property after the former owners fell too far behind in payments to the bank. Initially he will be leasing the facility, and has an option to buy it. They are still working out some of the details but a contract has been signed.
Hintz said that he plans to eliminate many of the extraneous things, such as a dinner theatre, winery, expo hall, atrium and gambling, all of which he feels helped lead to the demise of the Market Place last year, and detract from what the facility really is; a Flea Market with a farmers market and eatery.
He said, “Besides offering great retail items and traditional flea market goods at a discount, we are planning to turn the old screened-in Tiki Restaurant into an NFL themed Sports Bar, and possible Smokehouse type hut, so the men who don’t care to shop can come in and watch football, eat and drink, while the ladies shop.” The family is still firming up all the plans for the facility.
To sweeten his plans for the “Hut Hut” sports bar, as he calls it, Hintz was inspired by NFL player Cedric Killings, who is paralyzed from an NFL injury (which gave rise to the” Helmet to Helmet” rule in NFL football). Some of the proceeds from the planned sports bar will be going the Killings charitable foundation. Other NFL greats will visit, he said, such as Randy Moss and Dan Marino.
A feature attraction for the ladies besides the vendors and fresh produce is planned, too. “Up there on the Mezzanine,” he says of the 4000 square foot second floor circumference above the food court, “we will feature all kinds of name brand women’s cosmetics at a discount.” The vendor for the cosmetics is a recruit of Hintz’s, and is coming from the Festival Flea Market in Pompano Beach.
Down aisles with names such as Barefoot Trail, Tribal Way and Backwater Pass, there are 207 vendor booths, and Hintz plans on adding 30,000 square feet of retail space that the former facility didn’t have.
“There will always be a reason to come back,” said Hintz. “You will always find something here at bargain prices. That’s what a Flea Market is all about”
There is an open house for interested merchants and vendors scheduled from 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8. Free hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine will be served.
The facility will be open 7 days a week, and has a web site currently under construction.
For more information, call (954) 330-5778 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.