Another downtown business is closing it’s doors. The Collective Cachet opened about 2.5 years ago and it’s final day of business will be Christmas Eve. “I know that we’ve had a couple of other businesses shut down recently and more to come from what I know,” said Shaun Birch, co-owner of the collective cachet.
Shaun and his wife Amber also own “Grape Van Gogh: currently near the Grand Teton Mall. The couple plans to move that business to the upstairs part of the collective cachet’s current building on Park St after they finish renovations. “I feel bad I feel like we’ve really disappointed the artisans here, ” said Birch. The owners also said the business model was difficult to sustain in downtown- open 8 hours Wednesday through Saturday with artisans paying for space in the location.
The Collective Cachet isn’t alone, several businesses downtown have closed their doors in the last year. According to the Idaho Falls Downtown Development corporation website- there are a little more than dozen buildings available properties in the downtown area. Business owners credit this to the lack of foot traffic in the downtown area and trouble finding parking” It’s almost impossible to find a place to park,” said Birch.
The downtown development corporation is working to solve these problems- including recent plans to build updated apartments in what is now the Bonneville Hotel. With several businesses having trouble downtown, that’s not say business is all bad. Several restaurants and other business staples such as Idaho Mountain Trading- which has called downtown Idaho Falls home for several years sees a lot of foot traffic regularly.
Another issue troubling some small business owners in Idaho Falls is the ongoing growth on the opposite side of town. In the last couple of years major big businesses have set up shop in Ammon “a lot of times people try to keep things as competitive as possible with the big chains,” said Birch.
As several businesses close their doors for good, there are many plans in the works to revitalize downtown. Eyewitness News and Local News 8 have been following the developments over the years