by HALEY KNOPIK
Located in the Kenwood shopping plaza between "LIQUOR" liquor store, and "Master Framing Creations," "Game Planet" was close to many establishments that people visited on a weekly basis and while the store has been closed for over a month, so far no potential owners have put word into leasing the location.
Before Game Planet went out of business, it had been at the Kenwood location for twenty-six months. The Kenwood Plaza has been a popular destination for local college students from St. Scholastica and the University of Minn., Duluth.
Game Planet was a small shop filled with video games, including but limited to; some up to date video games for Xbox, Playstation(s), and the Wii system. Majority of customers were of college aged males, and were "regulars" to the store.
Of the two years that Game Planet thrived, the most popular video games were being sold for the Wii. Xbox and Playstation 3 were the second and third best selling games from Game Planet. Even though the store had new games for the newest and hottest gaming systems, sales weren't enough to keep the business from going belly up.
Tom O'Brian, the landlord of the currently unoccupied space said, "I knew Game Planet was only temporary. Their lease was up, and now the challenge is finding somebody to rent the empty space to."
In the case of the closing of Game Planet, it wasn't necessarily a "going out of business" trend as we are commonly seeing in the economy today. The lease was coming to an end and the business wasn't flourishing like it used to when it opened in late 2008.
O'Brian is hopeful for another short-term company to occupy the lease. "It's a good location, with lots of flow from the local colleges and neighborhoods," he said.
Dylan Lindstrom, a 24-year-old Lake Superior College Graduate, who worked at LIQUOR next door to the once Game Planet said, "I've worked here for almost a year, and when Game Planet was open you could always see the same guys walking in and out of it. The business end of that store wasn't flourishing very much."
The leasing terms set up by O'Brian include, but not limited to, monthly rent, a temporary lease (up to one or two years), and the potential owner cannot hold O'Brian accountable for any damages to the space and must pay standard business expenses with their own finances.
Although Game Planet was loved by some, the store was also unknown to some locals. Katie Schmoll, a local University of Minnesota Duluth junior said "I didn't even know such a place existed. I go to Kenwood for groceries all the time, and have never realized there was a video game store there."
The closing of Game Planet has come not so much as a surprise, but as a new chapter in the Plaza's collection of shops. Time will tell what new attraction will occupy the space between the liquor store and Master Framing Creations.