The magic is leaving downtown Colorado Springs, in a sense.
After 45 years, Zeezo’s — a locally owned year-round costume, accessories, vintage clothing, hat and magic supply shop — is closing.
The store’s final Halloween liquidation begins Tuesday with 10 percent off everything. Progressive discounts will be offered through Nov. 2, the store’s last day, said Jessica Modeer, co-owner of the store with Mark Modeer.
The Modeers did everything they could to save the business, she said Monday. But market and industry conditions led them to throw in the towel.
“Halloween merchandise is now to be found everywhere — you’ve got discount stores, temporary pop-up stores, online shopping,” Modeer said.
Considered one of the 10 largest independent costume stores in the nation, Zeezo’s soon will have another distinction. It will be the seventh of the 10 to go out of business in the past two years, she said.
“I don’t see independent stores in our industry with any growth potential like we’ve had in past years,” Modeer said.
Customer Krystal Zoppa posted on Facebook that she was sad to learn about the news.
“I love Zeezo’s, and it’s been a staple in my life,” she wrote. “Now I have to order costume makeup and my fake blood from somewhere else. Costumes will be missed.”
Zeezo’s has been a part of Colorado Springs’ retail history since 1974, when Zeezo the Clown launched his novelty and magic shop.
Mark Modeer, who worked at Zeezo’s in the 1980s, bought the business in 1993. Jessica Modeer joined the company in 1995.
Employees became known for dressing in costume and performing magic tricks for anyone who walked through the doors.
The store operated at 3 E. Bijou St. before moving to 104 N. Tejon St. in July 2009 and then in 2013 to a 21,000-square-foot space at 112-114 N. Tejon St.
In March, the Modeers downsized by about one-third and relocated to 127 E. Bijou St., across from Acacia Park.
“We’ve done literally everything we could possibly do to keep it going,” Modeer said. “There’s nothing more we can do.”
Shuttering the shop is bittersweet, she said. While it’s sad, “There’s relief in knowing we’ve truly given it our all.”
And there’s excitement in a new business the Modeers have started — Vintage Estate Co., which does estate liquidations, sales and clean-outs.
“We’ve been so busy we’re turning work away,” Modeer said.
When Zeezo’s closes, the new venture will hire many of Zeezo’s 10 employees to work for the estate sales company, she said, and hold multiple sales each week. The new business will not be located at the Zeezo’s location.
Customers are lamenting that Halloween just won’t be the same after this year.
Robert Steele, who grew up in Colorado Springs, said he remembers Mark Modeer coming to his house to perform magic at birthday parties when he was 8 or 9 years old.
“I spent countless hours just hanging out there as a kid, being amazed by all of the wonders of magic,” Steele wrote on Facebook. “Zeezo’s will always hold a special place in my heart and memories.”
Modeer said the comments are touching.
“The community support is overwhelming,” she said. “It’s really lovely.”
The couple wants to exit on a positive note, she said.
“We’ll miss it, but we’re really excited about what’s coming next.”
Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.