One of the best Swap Meets in the Country!
When Monte Kobey launched his San Diego swap meet in 1976, a mere 13 sellers and 200 buyers showed up. Today, the landmark Kobey’s Swap Meet at the Sports arena is San Diego’s largest outdoor market and the third largest on the West Coast, drawing 30,000 shoppers and more than 1,000 sellers weekly.
The success of Kobey’s is a family triumph, a saga extending through four generations. A graduate of Arizona State University with degrees in advertising and marketing, Monte Kobey worked for radio and television stations for nine years before he was named general manager of his father-in-law’s huge Phoenix swap meet, “Park & Swap”.
Kobey later moved to San Diego where he opened his fledgling swap meet in 1976 at the Midway Drive-In Theater. When the drive-in closed, Kobey moved the swap meet to the Sports Arena in 1979. Driven by Kobey’s marketing genius, the enterprise took off, earning recognition as a Mecca for bargain hunters and as one of San Diego’s most popular visitor attractions.
In 1989, Monte Kobey died from AIDS, which he contracted through a blood transfusion during open heart surgery. Today, the company is very much a family affair, with Kobey’s daughters instrumental in the growing success of The Kobey Corporation.
Kimberly Kobey-Pretto, who ran the day-to-day operations of the business before Kobey became ill and took over even more responsibilities when her father’s health declined, is now President of The Kobey Corporation.
Under Kim’s management, which in 1995 exceeded her illustrious father’s tenure, the swap meet has attracted record numbers of shoppers and sellers…and has solidified its reputation as a clean, family-style operation.
In recognition of Kim’s achievements, the U.S.-Mexico Foundation named her Entrepreneur of the Year in 1992.
- Hours: Every Fri. through Sun. • 7am – 3pm
- Admission: 50¢ Fri. • $1 Sat. & Sun. • Children 11 and under – FREE
- Telephone: (619)226-0650 24 hour info
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