Colorado Springs' retail landscape saw its share of closings in 2019.
But consumers shouldn't fret: A new batch of stores, restaurants and entertainment concepts are on their way for 2020.
In fact, even as retailers shut their doors for a variety of reasons, Colorado Springs is showing up on the radar screens of more national and regional stores and restaurants because of its strong population growth and surging economy, among other factors.
"It's now a new market for them to penetrate and to come to," John Egan, a commercial broker with NAI Highland in Colorado Springs, said of out-of-town retail and restaurant chains.
"There has to be a critical mass of population; I don't think there's a specific number," he said. "But Colorado Springs is definitely on the map to these retailers, which are simply following the rooftops and the businesses and the local economy. It's a good up-and-coming market and of course some retailers want to be a part of that and get established in it while it's on the upswing."
State demographers have predicted Colorado Springs' population will surpass that of Denver within 30 years and will become Colorado's largest city. The Springs' cost of living remains relatively affordable when compared with Denver, which is one reason it's attracting more people, said Mark Useman, a broker with Colorado Springs Commercial.
Retailers always follow rooftops, and service-oriented businesses and restaurants, in particular, will want to be near fast-growing areas to the east and northeast such as the sprawling Banning Lewis Ranch, Useman said.
The ranch, whose roughly 20,000 acres make up the eastern third of Colorado Springs, was annexed in 1988, but has only begun to develop with homes over the last seven to eight years. Most of those homes are southeast of Woodmen and Marksheffel roads.
"If you think about it, the Banning Lewis Ranch really is the future of Colorado Springs," Useman said. "The growth we're going to see out east and the amount of houses over the next 40 years that are going to go there (in the Banning Lewis Ranch) is going to be amazing. So we're going to need more retail."
If you haven’t kept a scorecard on retail comings and goings in the Colorado Springs area, don't worry. Here's a look back at some changes in 2019 and a few arrivals expected in 2020:
GOING, GOING GONE
• Sears, the financially troubled national retailer, closed its only two local stores in 2019 — one that opened in 1957 at what is now the Broadmoor Towne Center and another at the Chapel Hills Mall that had operated since 1982.
• Three Borriello Brothers restaurants were shuttered by the Colorado Department of Revenue for failure to pay more than $121,000 in state sales taxes. The locations were at 229 S. 8th St., 5490 Powers Center Point and at 5180 Fontaine Blvd. in Fountain, south of Colorado Springs. The original Borriello Brothers at 215 E. Platte Ave. in downtown Colorado Springs remains in business and continues to specialize in thin-crust, New York-style pizza.
• Zeezo’s — the locally owned year-round costume, accessories, vintage clothing, hat and magic supply shop — closed after a 45-year run in downtown. The owners cited competition from department and discount stores as among the reasons they closed. Zeezo's operated at locations on Bijou and Tejon streets before its final stop at 127 E. Bijou St.
• Other restaurants and retailers that closed in 2019 include Blaze Pizza and Outback Steakhouse on the city's northeast side; a Save-A-Lot grocery in north central Colorado Springs (another Save-A-Lot remains open at 405 S. Circle Drive); and downtown mainstays Il Vicino (a University Village Colorado restaurant remains open), Starbucks (another downtown location continues to operate), Baby Cotton Bottoms, the Boulder Street Gallery, Antique Gallery and Midtown Grill.
COME ON DOWN: NEW ARRIVALS TO THE PIKES PEAK REGION
• Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, the Louisiana-based chain, hasn't wasted time in Colorado Springs. It opened its first location in May at Academy Boulevard and Agora Court and followed with a second restaurant in November at Powers Boulevard and Barnes Road. Now, Raising Cane's plans to open a third store Feb. 18 northwest of Interstate 25 and Garden of the Gods Road.
• Häagen-Dazs ice cream can be found in most groceries, but now is available at the Springs' first brick-and-mortar store, which opened in July at the Promenade Shops at Briargate, southeast of Briargate and Voyager parkways.
• Colorado Ranch Market, a more conventional grocery with a larger assortment of recognizable brands, opened in December and replaced the no-frills Save-A-Lot store on North Academy Boulevard. Both grocery brands are operated by a Franktown company.
• Among other newcomers to town this year: Rib & Chop House and Gripstone Climbing Gym, southeast of Powers and Dublin boulevards; Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, northeast of Academy Boulevard and Agora Point; Cheba Hut, west of Interstate 25 and Fillmore Street; Chuy's, southwest of Briargate Parkway and Chapel Hills Drive; and Pikes Peak Indian Motorcycle, southwest of I-25 and Woodmen Road.
• Wooglin’s Deli & Cafe closed its longtime location in November at 823 N. Tejon St. to make way for a new Colorado College arena, but it reopened in December at Barnes Road and Oro Blanco Drive. After the arena opens in 2021, Wooglin’s will return to a new space inside that venue, while retaining its second location at Barnes and Oro Blanco.
• Short Stop Deluxe Burgers reopened a permanent location in August at 5819 Palmer Park Blvd., in the parking lot of the Powers Centre shopping center southeast of Powers and Palmer Park boulevards. The longtime Springs burger joint had moved from Platte Avenue and Circle Drive after several buildings at the corner were razed to make way for a CVS Pharmacy.
• Other changes in 2019 by existing stores and restaurants include: Joey's Pizza, a north side New York-style eatery, added a location at 227 S. 8th St.; Ross Dress for Less closed a store at Academy and Union boulevards and reopened it at Academy and Austin Bluffs Parkway; La-Z-Boy, with a location on North Academy Boulevard, added a second furniture store at Powers Boulevard and North Carefree Circle; CVS, the Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain, opened its third Springs bricks-and-mortar store at Platte Avenue and Circle Drive; the Skirted Heifer hamburger restaurant in downtown expanded to southeast of Powers and Dublin boulevards; the owners of Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill at 9420 Briar Village Point converted the restaurant into an Urban Egg, A Daytime Eatery; Natural Grocers, the Lakewood-based natural foods and health conscious grocery chain, added a store in Woodland Park; and Captain D's Seafood Kitchen opened a new restaurant northwest of Powers and Barnes Road, the first new Captain's D's in the state in almost 25 years.
WELCOME TO TOWN: NEWCOMERS IN 2020
• In-N-Out Burger, the California fast-food favorite with the cult-like following, announced in 2017 it was coming to Colorado and would build a patty production plant, distribution center, office building and its first restaurant in the Victory Ridge development southeast of InterQuest and Voyager parkways in Colorado Springs. Now, the time is getting closer for In-N-Out's arrival. The chain has said it will complete its distribution and production facilities in 2020 and open its restaurant late in the year.
• Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, a seafood restaurant that opened 25 years ago in Boulder and then added locations in Denver’s LoDo, Glendale, Fort Collins and Kansas City, Mo., opens Jan. 7 in the former Il Vicino space at 11 S. Tejon St. in downtown.
• Parry’s Pizzeria & Bar, which specializes in New York-style pizza and a wide selection of craft beers, plans to will open its first Colorado Springs location in January northwest of I-25 and InterQuest Parkway.
• RoadHouse Cinemas is targeting a spring opening for its eight-screen movie theater complex in a portion of a remodeled Kmart store, northwest of Nevada Avenue and Fillmore Street.
• Crush Golf, a state-of-the-art, year-round driving range with dining and meeting facilities for golfers, families and corporate gatherings, plans to open in the summer southeast of Interstate 25 and North Gate Boulevard. Air-City360, a separate 30,000-square-foot family fun center that will include wall climbing, trampolines, an obstacle course, a toddler area and cafe, is scheduled to open nearby in the spring.
• Magnum Shooting Center, an indoor shooting range southeast of I-25 and North Gate Boulevard, aims to open a south-side facility next summer inside the former Sears store at the Broadmoor Towne Center, southeast of Southgate Road and Nevada Avenue.