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The Perk Downtown in Colorado Springs to close its doors after three decades

Posted at 8:35 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 12:48:21-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Perk Downtown, a locally owned coffee shop in downtown Colorado Springs, will close its doors after three decades in business.

Don and Kay Heaberlin, who have run the cafe for the past 16 years, announced the decision on Tuesday. They said they had reached a point where they could no longer right the ship and had decided to retire.

After the financial woes of the pandemic, Don said the shop on Tejon Street never truly recovered. He said the price of coffee has doubled since then and labor costs continue to rise.

"We just feel like we can't go forward in this business environment," he said. "What I would say what brought us to this was death by a thousand paper cuts. A little here, a little there... and before you know it, you're just underwater."

Don said he thought about selling the business, but decided it wasn't worth it to continue losing money each month while searching for someone to take over.

For other small businesses downtown, the cost of rent has become hard to keep up with. According to the Downtown Partnership's 2024 State of Downtown Report, retail rent prices increased by 50% from Jan. 2023 to Dec. 2023.

WATCH: Some downtown business owners say rent is high, but it's worth it

"I've noticed that some neighbors and other people have had their rents increase or change landlords or things like that, and then rents go up a lot," said Chuck Thomas, head chef at Munchies 719 on Tejon Street.

Nonetheless, Don said he and his wife are grateful they could provide a space for people to gather over the years.

"It just brings happiness to your heart and it's just like, you know it was worth it. I walk away with incredibly, incredibly great memories of this place," he said.

The Heaberlins said The Perk's last day open will be Sunday, May 26. The two plan to raise money for employees to cover their bills as they search for new jobs.

The Perk's official statement can be found on their Facebook page.

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