Vendors upset, say they outnumbered patrons at Orlando Sunfest



ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens of vendors are accusing an Orlando man of ripping them off on an event that turned out to be a flop.

The Orlando Sunfest last weekend had everything from rides to 80 different vendors, but the vendors outnumbered the patrons and they’re not happy about it.

Frustrated vendors said they were promised crowds of over 10,000 people, but Stacy Knowles, of Alabama, told Channel 9 that didn’t happen and she had to throw out thousands of dollars in corn as a result.

“People were going to the man in charge of the event and he kept saying, ‘Give it time, give it time,’” said Knowles. “Everyone showed up Saturday and started cooking again and still no customers.”

One vendor said things were so slow over the three-day event that they only sold a half-gallon of ice cream, and most of that was to other vendors.

Channel 9’s Lori Brown confronted the promoter, Nick Manikis of Coverplex, Inc., at his Lake County home.

Manikis said he did all he could to promote the event and even lost money on it himself.

“Did you really think 10,000 people would show up?” Brown asked.

“The church had an event last year not done by me,” said Manikis. “They had 10,000 people there. Across the street, they had 15,000 people. That's what we expected.”

Manikis chalked it up to “incompetence” as the reason he couldn’t pull similar crowds.

“This is now your third unsuccessful festival.  Are you going to keep doing this?” Brown asked.

“No, I'm done,” said Manikis.

The Florida Division of Consumer Services will review any complaints it receives and determine if there needs to be an investigation.