Wolf Camera’s parent still mum on Aspen store closing
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – The Maryland-based parent company of Wolf Camera has yet to return calls and emails to the property manager of its East Hopkins Avenue store or The Aspen Times to explain the reason behind last week’s abrupt closure.
Wolf Camera – the only camera seller and photo-finishing shop in town – received its Aspen business license in October 2001, according to the city’s Finance Department. A city worker said neither the local manager nor the parent company, Beltsville, Md.-based Ritz Camera and Image LLC, notified the department of the closure, which occurred on April 28, according to a window sign found on the door Tuesday.
In February 2009, Ritz Camera and Image’s predecessor, Ritz Camera Centers Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, listing between $100 million and $500 million in both assets and liabilities. The 300-store company blamed the national recession and consumers’ switch to digital photography for the filing. The company has continued to operate over the past few years and even opened a few new stores.
The window sign at 445 E. Hopkins Ave. tells customers that any items, such as film to be processed, left with the local store can be picked up at the company’s store in Greenwood Village, south of Denver. The address is 7939 E. Arapahoe Road, and the phone number is 303-771-8404.
“Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives and memories,” the sign reads.
A manager at the Greenwood Village location, who did not want his name published, said store workers probably could ship any items left with the Aspen store back to their owners. He said he was not authorized to say why the Aspen store shut down and referred further questions to the parent company.
“We gave them plenty of time to pick up their stuff, and we called all of them before we closed the store,” the manager said.
Robert J. Snyder, property manager for the Kandycom Inc. building where Wolf Camera was located, said he is now trying to find a new tenant for the space. He said the camera shop had paid its rent through April and that seven months remained on its lease.
Snyder declined to say what Wolf Camera was paying in monthly rent.
Aspen commercial real estate broker Karen Setterfield said Tuesday that she knew of no other retail closures in Aspen during the current offseason other than Denimaxx, a furrier with a short-term lease in the Bidwell Building.
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