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ector becomes flea ST. CHARLES CHRONICLE Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1980 Section One Page 7 rket entrepreneur atmosphere, she said. The City of St. Charles recently considered a tax for both flea market and Kane County fair patrons. Although the issue has been tabled, the suggestion was a 10 or 15 cent tax added to admission charges for both events. Arguments for the tax are that police and civil defense protection are provided for the fair and that the visiting merchants compete both directly and in- directly with local businesses. "My business pays taxes on the gate admission, the food tax and the salaries I pay my local help," Robin- son said. St. Charles benefits from any business the flea market does, she argues. Nor does the flea market utilize police protection or any other city personnel. Each dealer at the flea market has a state license to sell and the city receives 1 percent of all the sales tax that is generated, Robinson said. "Each dealer has a tax number so the city must be getting sales tax By Joan Netzbandt Genevan Helen Robinson helps 6,000 people every month indulge their penchant for collecting. She operates the Kane County Flea Market, "the largest antique and collectible flea market in the world," according to Robinson. Fourteen years ago at the Wasco Legion, Robinson brought 14 dealers together for her first flea market. Four hundred customers browsed among the wares. Today a flea market attracts an average of 6,000 people and more than 500 dealers display everything from fur- niture to antique jewelry. The year-round flea market is "my business,'" Robinson said. She was inspired by a similar market she attended in Princeton. "I didn't , know why I couldn't start one too," she added. Dealers come from every state and say this is the best area to buy and sell, Robinson said. The flea market is the first Sunday of every month and is a weekend market in � March, July, October and December. "The first 10 years I was lucky to meet my ex- penses," Robinson said. And like any business, Robin- son's expenses keep going up. Where once she paid $125 rent each month to the Kane County Fair Board, she now pays $3,000 about $5,000 for a two-day show. She charges a $1 admission charge per person. When the gate opens at 7 a.m. the day of a show, visitors can buy a country breakfast for $2. "We cooked 110 dozen eggs for breakfast last month," Robinson said. Business is good. But Robinson contemarkett the flea Imarket, as an event that attracts thousands of people to the Fox Valley every month, has also generated business for the area. Not only the visitors, but the 500 or more dealers, buy food and gas while staying in the area. If there were more motels and some camping facilities the cities could do a booming business because dealers alone usually spend two nights here, Robinson said. Restaurant owners in the area have learned to plan ahead for extra help and supplies the weekend of the flea market, Robinson has learned. Robinson's business has done its share to boost tourism in the valley also Many visitors and dealers come back to shop or dine in the area once they have visited the flea market because they like the country revenue," she added. If the city charges a license fee for each vendor they will be paying twice. Robinson calls the market "a hobby that mushroom- ed into a business." It has matured along with its most finicky collectors. It is still the placefor those in- terested in a unique beer can, but for those who want to invest their money in tangibles such as jewelry or fur- niture there is plemarketto tantalize.
Kane County Flea Market
Saint Charles (Ill.)--History
|Description||Photocopies of newspaper articles starting in 1980. Compiled by St. Charles Public Library staff|
|Geographic Coverage||United States--Illinois--Kane County--Saint Charles|
|Contributing Institution||St. Charles Public Library|
|Digtization Specifications||600 dpi, Bitonal, TIFF, Omniscan 8.0|