Vendors and Residents Petition to Save San Bernardino Pro-Swap-Meet
On Sept. 24, the Pro-Swap-Meet in San Bernardino announced that it would close after 19 years, with many community members now calling to save it.
According to the swap meets website, they attribute the closure to the pandemic, regulations, new types of commerce, and that conditions are no longer the best for the location.
Eyleen Reyes's family has been selling clothes at the swap meet since 2016. She said, "It was instant, the news was really instant, and we didn't know about it, they just suddenly gave us a paper saying that the last day would be October 24th."
She added, "But if we go to a different one, now that they're closing this one, there's a lot of competition. So, what you see here, you're going to see over there at Fontana Swap Meet. So a lot of people are going to get mad because they're going to be losing money."
Nicole Favela is a San Bernardino resident and says the meet is a big part of the local Latino community. After hearing of the closure, she created an online petition to save the meet, which now has over 5,500 signatures. She said, "It's like a big one-stop shop. There's so much of everything that you could possibly want to find, it's there, and you're helping someone directly."
She added that there are rumors that San Bernardino Valley College will be buying the property but that it's not official saying, "That seemed a little absurd because I just feel like how are you going to take this away from those people that need that income and the community that is basically there within the swap meet."
The college has not released a statement on the matter. I made several attempts to reach Pro-Swap-Meet and received no response. KVCR is owned and operated by the San Bernardino Community College District, which includes Valley College.