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Niketown's Denver run almost over

Denver Pavilions

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When Niketown Denver opened its doors in the Denver Pavilions in July 2009, Nike said it would be the last one it would build in the U.S. Now, it’s 12-year run in downtown is nearing the finish line. Today, Nike announced that the store, one of the original anchors in the Denver Pavilions along the 16th Street Mall, will close in May.

“We can confirm we will be closing Niketown Denver at the Denver Pavilions shopping center in mid May 2011,” the Beaverton, Oregon, company said in a statement. “The Denver market is important to us and we will continue to serve our consumers through our retail partners, www.nikestore.com and our four Nike Factory Stores located in Lakewood, Silverthorne, Castle Rock & Loveland. We are supporting affected employees by offering severance to assist them as they transition.”

Niketown fans

Shoppers today mourned the pending closing of the store.

“Sad day. All the employees there were great and helpful. Hope they all find jobs quickly,” Ben Corwin wrote on Niketown Denver’s Facebook page.

Rhay Garrett, 19, also on the Facebook page, described the pending closing as “horrible” and said that he spends at least $400 month in the store.

The closing will “only open to new possibilities for consignment shops,” he added.

Executives at Gart Properties, which bought the Denver Pavilions in 2008 for $94.5 million with ING Clarion Partners, could not immediately be reached to discuss the fate of the Niketown space. And a Nike spokeswoman has not returned a call.

Just before its grand opening, the Rocky Mountain News described it this way: “The store is a 30,000-square-foot ode to sports, athletes, ingenuity and drive.”

It was estimated that the $20 million store would hit the ground running, doing $18 million to $19 million in annual sales.

Pavilions had been opened for about eight months before Niketown made its debut, even though the NT logo had been carved on the outside of the store from Day 1.

“That building has been a black hole in the middle of Pavilions,” Bill Denton, the developer of the Pavilions told the Rocky Mountain News in 1999. “When the doors open, Niketown will provide a major impact to the feeling of Pavilions. It’s a major event in the history of the thing.”

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