I met a gal at the nail salon not long ago, and she said she worked at an antiques mall, the one I had passed a million times, at 6665 Eastern, called “Antiques at the Market”. This week on the spur of the moment, I decided to visit her mall. I loved it! My nail friend wasn’t there, but Bobbi Wagner at the front desk gave me the lowdown.
At this particular mall, some 113 booths are leased by 60 diffierent dealers. Every booth is stocked with items that have tags listing a dealer ID and prices. A customer who wants to purchase an item brings the item to the front desk and pays. If the customer wants to negotiate the price and the dealer is not in the mall, a call is placed to the dealer. For items sold, the mall owners, Robert and Liz Warner, then forward to the dealers what was collected. Surveillance cameras are part of the scene as are a number of “floor people” who will help customers. (Wagner told me the mall also has a long waiting list of dealers.)
I loved the atmosphere immediately. An old-fashioned Christmas seemed everywhere. Holiday smells and decorations and the age of the items on display reminded me of good times past. I particularly enjoyed seeing products that I recognized from my mother’s and grandmother’s homes. I laughed with some items. I was amazed at others. I knew collector friends would find additions here that they would love. I could afford some items; others were out of my range. I could have taken pictures for hours.
Though on a Thursday only a few customers were visiting Antiques at the Market, that was a pleasure, too – the ability to walk and look and not be bombarded by sales people or bumped by shoppers. Items on display were in good condition; glass cabinets were clean, and jewelry sparkled. I had such a good time, I wondered how I could have lived in Las Vegas for 10 years and never before visited an antiques mall.
As I was about to leave the mall, I noticed a group checking out. Patti Brown, her sister and Brown’s two children were with her. She explained that only a week before, her husband had passed away after a long illness. The family just wanted to get away and do something fun. So they walked the mall, looked at everything and talked and laughed. Each one of them also had a purchase.
Having enjoyed myself so much at Antiques at the Market, I then decided to visit a second antiques mall. Several weeks before, a friend had mentioned that her mother was a dealer at Sin City Pickers (don’t you love the name?), a mall for antiques and collectibles located at 10 West Wyoming in the new Las Vegas Arts District. If I enjoyed one antiques mall, why not two?
Sin City Pickers is a relatively new mall, just nine months old, but already crowded with merchandise. Once again, dealers aren’t necessarily in the mall at all times. Sales are handled at a front desk. This particular mall, in the shadows of the Stratosphere Tower, has narrow aisles, so an offer is made for big purses to be put in a locker (the customer gets the key) until shopping has been completed. In small spaces, big purses can knock into merchandise (and have).
Fortunately, in addition to owner Bonnie Catoni, several dealers were on hand. We interviewed Catoni and one of the dealers for the attached video and we were helped enormously by camera-shy dealer Ellie Clinton-Issa, spending time with us on her birthday no less! Clinton-Issa has been collecting for a lifetime. Her Facebook page for Sin City Pickers Antiques & Collectibles features great photos of many current items.
On December 8 and 9, Clinton-Issa reminded, a special fundraising “Giving Tree Celebration” will be held at Sin City Pickers, a project of the St. Jude’s Women’s Auxiliary and Justice Law Center. On hand will be FREE Children’s Finger Printing, Tree Decorating, Make-and-Take Crafts, a surprise visit from Santa and trees for sale. Adults, of course, can also browse the mall.
Yes, Las Vegas has lots of entertainment and lots of shopping to offer, but the fun and intrigue of historical items and massive collections can’t be overlooked. For special someones, mall customers may find one or two perfect holiday gifts as well.