At 43 acres, Broadacres Marketplace & Events Center is easily the biggest market in North Las Vegas, ethnic or otherwise.
It’s also the largest market in the state, requiring almost two dozen acres just for parking.
The larger chunk of Broadacres’ aptly named spread — 22 densely packed acres of ramshackle food tents, clothing vendors and fruit stands — counts as one of the most lucrative swap meets in the country.
Some 1.4 million shoppers paid a visit to the supersized market last year, good for an average of 10,000 visitors every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
More than three-quarters of Broadacres’ customers are Hispanic, and all paid no more than $2 for daily access to the market’s teetering stacks of jeans, mattresses and antiques.
Part of the market’s mass appeal, according to vendors, is its variety.
There are only three things you won’t find for sale at Broadacres: guns, baby formula and used mattresses.
Everything else, from home appliances and alligator boots to coconuts and used cars, is sold without interference.
That includes mayonnaise-covered corn on the cob, one of the more popular items at Krazy Korn, Chris Gutierrez’s all-corn restaurant near Broadacres’ northeastern gate.
Gutierrez’s family food stand has sold corn tamales, pancakes and a dozen other corn-centric dishes at the market for the better part of a decade.
So far, he’s more than happy with the arrangement.
“We’re always busy,” Gutierrez said on a frigid, relatively slow Friday in December. “We’ve been here for almost eight years now and never had any problems with it.
“My idea is still to open a (brick-and-mortar) store, hopefully on the Strip, but this place has been good for us.”
Eduardo Rodriguez, a more recent addition to Broadacres’ ever-growing list of more than 1,100 vendors, shopped at the market for years before setting up a kid’s play area on the site this year.
The Michoacan, Mexico, native managed to keep the family party rental business afloat for decades by the time his 17-year-old son convinced him to inflate six bounce houses on a Broadacres plot over the summer.
Six months later, Rodriguez — who recently won North Las Vegas City Council approval for a dragon-themed tilt-a-whirl and a handful of other “amusement rides” at the site — doesn’t know how he ever lived without it.
“It’s essential to my business,” he said. “This is where we eat from; this is how we pay the bills.”
Rodriguez and thousands of Broadacres’ other vendors pay a daily fee between $10 and $35 to operate on the property, part of a model that nets millions annually for marketplace owner Greg Danz.
Danz, who purchased the 36-year-old market in 2007, was born into the swap meet business.
The former investment banker’s grandfather helped start one of the country’s first swap meets, and his family still owns three such marketplaces in Southern California.
Danz said Broadacres, which recently added a $200,000 live entertainment stage and food court, has long counted among his family’s most profitable enterprises.
It’s also one of his favorites.
“I think it’s both a launchpad for local businesses and great for the city,” he said. “North Las Vegas collects $2 on every booth, every weekend, so it’s a pretty good deal for them.
“I had a distributor call me the other day to tell me we’re now the largest consumer of Negra Modelo keg (beer) in the country. … So I don’t see a need to expand as far as acreage, but we’re definitely still growing, definitely doing well.”
Broadacres Marketplace & Event Center, 2390 Las Vegas Blvd. North, opens at 4 p.m. Fridays and 6 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information on the market, visit broadacresmec.com.
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3839.