Recent closures transforming Downtown Spokane

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by WHITNEY WARD & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 26 at 6:26 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Downtown Spokane is supposed to be the place for nightlife, but lately many of those hotspots are closing. Several businesses closed their doors for good in recent weeks.

Multiple long-time businesses have shut their doors in the last several months and some said simple economics are to blame. But many added that streets kids are also driving customers away.

"We have a patio, but every time we seat someone out there somebody is always harassing them," said Ralston Read, manager of The Wave downtown.

He also said that it is a growing problem.

"Two weeks ago, a lady parked out there for just 20 minutes," Read continued. "When she went back out, her laptop was stolen."

Read said that after enough of that people stop coming downtown altogether.

The Marquee, Scout, and Ugly Betties have also closed recently. In many cases another bar and restaurant is already set to move in to the same location however.

Ron Wells, a long-time developer, said Spokane is still growing in the long-run. He said he believes downtown health has peaks and valleys but it needs bars, restaurants, retail, and living space to stay alive. He added that he is currently in the process of securing the old Ridpath Hotel to turn into more than 200 apartments.

"236-300 new residents living there, patronizing and patronizing businesses in the neighborhood," Wells said. "It's always regrettable when a good strong business, especially one that's popular, closes. And it is a concern. But downtown is better than it's ever been."

Spokane Police also said that they do their best to respond to calls and the businesses said they are not giving up.

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