Constant turnover keeps business fresh

Doug Kays, owner of Fantastic Indoor Swapmeet in Las Vegas, Nev. on September 4, 2015.

Fantastic Indoor Swap Meet

Address: 1717 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas

Phone: 702-877-0087


Hours of operation: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday through Sunday

Owned/operated by: Doug Kays, Sam Present and J.R. Lamensdorf

In business since: 1988

Describe your business.

Fantastic Indoor Swap Meet has more than 600 vendor booths offering only new or made-to-order merchandise, including clothing, jewelry, exotic plants and home décor.

What makes your business unique?

It is all about the small-business person. Businesses in Fantastic are owned by local businesspeople trying to get a start or grow their businesses.

What is your business philosophy?

All of our business decisions are focused on trying to optimize opportunities for every vendor while creating an exciting, uniform market for the consumer.

How have you managed to keep business steady for almost 30 years?

We have to constantly find fresh, new and exciting vendors so the market is never stale. The fact that we always have new vendors setting up shop is what keeps our customers coming back.

How has it been assisting local entrepreneurs?

It is exciting, fun and rewarding. We have helped over 4,000 businesses launch in Las Vegas. Throughout our existence, we have never required contracts with our vendors. We want to help entrepreneurs start and grow their business.

What is the hardest part about doing business in Las Vegas?

There are a couple of challenges. First, the economy for the locals isn’t always robust and can be challenging. Second, there is a huge amount of competition for consumer attention.

What is the best part about doing business here?

The city of Las Vegas’ support has been strong; it has been supportive of our changes over the years. There is a constant influx of entrepreneurs in Las Vegas, and that makes it exciting for a business like us.

What obstacles has your business overcome?

Economic downturns and a massive flood from a broken sprinkler pipe that damaged 40,000 square feet of our building in July 2012. Another obstacle that we continuously deal with is educating the public about what the term “swap meet” means. When consumers hear “swap meet,” they may assume that all the products are used and it is a bartering system when it comes to pricing. We want people to know that we only sell new or made-to-order brand-name merchandise, just as it is at a regular store, although we have a much larger variety of products.

How can Nevada improve its business climate?

Keep the barriers to entry low. Business taxes and license fees have to be reduced for these mom-and-pop-style businesses.

What did you learn from the recession?

It reinforced the need to be consistent, be diligent in your plans and be innovative. Additionally, we learned that our business plan must evolve with our business. To be successful, we had to expand our marketing to niches and be more proactive.