BROOKSVILLE — Three men with a range of business experience — from travel to telemarketing — are trying a new venture in Hernando County, reviving and bringing fresh ideas to the former Airport Flea Market.
The Airport Flea Market and Farmers Market opens Saturday at 17375 Spring Hill Drive, where Nick DelCorso; his brother, Vincent DelCorso and their childhood neighbor, Andy Orfitelli, have spent the past several months refurbishing 400 under-roof market slots and making other improvements on the 19-acre site, just west of U.S. 41.
Nick DelCorso has owned a travel incentive business employing 125 in St. Petersburg. Vincent DelCorso owns a telemarketing business in the same city. Orfitelli, retired from a government job, is currently a part-time public adjuster in the Tampa Bay area.
"This is our first flea market," Nick DelCorso says enthusiastically.
He said farm producers as well as used-goods marketers and local crafters are being invited to set up stalls.
"We want to start relationships with local farmers," Nick DelCorso said. "We want to put much more emphasis on fresh produce."
Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
DelCorso said there will be 10 refurbished railroad cars on site for storage and vendors' shops.
"We are in contact with food truck vendors, and we'll have rallies and bring those vendors out," he said.
He said entertainment is in the plans as well, including car shows, a blues festival, a chili cook-off, bike shows, a blow-up house for kids, and possibly auctions.
Comparing their site with other flea markets and farmers markets in the area, DelCorso said, "With 19 acres, we have a lot more space to create a festive area."
The trio, natives of Pittsburgh, also are soliciting as vendors potential entrepreneurs who have thought about opening their own businesses.
"There's no long-term commitment," DelCorso said. "Come out and try it for a month. It's Flea Market 101, for the first time, to give (entrepreneurs) a system for a start."
Space rentals will be offered from $15 to $25 a day.
Meanwhile, the owners have been spending money themselves, repairing and painting the vendor shelters, refurbishing restrooms, sprucing up the railroad cars and preparing advertising.
The previous owners of the flea market had closed it in April 2007.
"We want to let people know we're back, and up," DelCorso said. "The Airport Flea Market is taking off."
Beth Gray can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.