Culture

A changing mall culture in Durango? – The Durango Herald

Owner, tenants of Main Mall see potential for growth in downtown space

The inside of the Main Mall in Downtown Durango on Tuesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

With new businesses moving in, and a large commercial space available where Durango Furniture and Mattress used to be, some tenants of Durango’s downtown mall, aka the Main Mall, believe the culture is changing.

While business owners in the Main Mall are excited to see what’s next for one of the property’s largest spaces, many are hopeful that it might support the increased evening traffic that has built up over the past couple of years.

“The mall used to close at 6 pm, and we run events five out of seven nights a week,” said Guild House Games owner Danny Perez. “I do believe that we were instrumental in changing the culture of the mall.”

Katy Kopec, owner of The Good Fight Boxing Gym, leads a class on Tuesday at her business in the Main Mall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Now that the mall is open until 10 pm, businesses are able to offer classes, events and services later into the evening.

“The culture of the mall has changed in a very good way. Things in the mall are especially active in the evening,” said owner of The Good Fight Boxing Gym, Katy Kopec. “We’ve got our kids fighting up here in the boxing gym, we’ve got our film fest people working hard on their projects, people gaming out in the hall with the game store, people coming in for the piercing place, and none of that was here when I moved here three years ago. “

Owner of the Main Mall Ted Hermesman III agrees the vacancy has opened up potential for things to change, but he believes the mall has had a strong collection of tenants for some time.

Trevin Verduzco, with Guild House Games, works on Tuesday in the store on the second floor of the Main Mall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“I would say there’s definitely a vacancy in the atmosphere of the mall with the furniture store leaving,” he said.

Durango Furniture and Mattress has been working on moving into its new location for some time now, and Hermesman said he’s received a number of inquiries over the past couple years about the space becoming available.

“We will be advertising for new tenants soon, at this time we have no idea what’s going in there,” he said. “If we can get some good clean wholesome-type businesses in there, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Perez and Kopec both said they’re excited to see what sort of tenant will end up in the large first-floor space.

Trevin Verduzco with Guild House Games works in the store on the second floor of the Main Mall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“I’m curious as to what they’re going to put in,” Perez said. “The atmosphere in the mall is a community, and many of us believe that’s exactly what we are.”

Across from the furniture store is another large vacant space that Kopec said she’s in the process of moving into because her business has outgrown its current space in the mall.

Kopec and Perez said they feel the mall has become a good place for youths to engage in positive activities like gaming and fitness, so the two hope a business comes in that supports a space for young people.

People check out the Main Mall in downtown Durango on Tuesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“I think our businesses in the mall work really well together, and I think it’s a really good representation of Durango, actually,” Kopec said. “There are so many diverse interests living happily in one area. … A lot of kids come here after school, and we have that big open space, so I’d like to see it be something that’s youth friendly and culture friendly,”

Pine Needle Mountaineering manager Esther Kopf said she hasn’t noticed the culture of the mall change that much, but she said businesses that can cater to youths and have a built-in following like Guild House Games tend to do well.

“We’ve seen a lot of things come and it doesn’t affect us that much because we have our own door and we’re right on Main,” she said. “I’d really like to see small local businesses move in that people who live here can work at.”

Katy Kopec, right, owner of The Good Fight Boxing Gym, leads a class on Tuesday at her business in the Main Mall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Hermesman said he considers the Main Mall to be the heart of Durango, and loves to bring in local businesses. He said rent prices vary depending on the size of the space, but he believes the Main Mall is one of the most economical places to move a business in Durango.

“I would love for someone to move in that pertains well to downtown,” he said. “I’d love to see it support the downtown area.”

Other than looking forward to a new tenant, Hermesman said the mall will be installing solar panels on the roof to power the facility.

njohnson@durangoherald.com

Trevin Verduzco with Guild House Games works in the store on the second floor of the Main Mall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The second floor on Tuesday of the Main Mall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

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