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This sign hung on the door of Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream in Dickinson on Friday. A spokesperson for the company said the business's closure is temporary.

Dickinson mall loses multiple businesses

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News Dickinson,North Dakota 58602 http://www.thedickinsonpress.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/32/1024/copy-0121-happy-joes-1aamj.jpg?itok=JICGsZO_
The Dickinson Press
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Dickinson mall loses multiple businesses
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

A movie theater in Prairie Hills Mall of Dickinson closed its doors for the last time Thursday, but movie-goers will have a new theater next week, officials said Friday.

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Carmike Cinemas Cine 3 is among at least three other businesses that have or will close, at least temporarily, in Dickinson.

Great Plains Clinic Medical Enterprises LLC, which owns the mall, announced it has struck an agreement with Odyssey Entertainment Inc., according to a Friday press release from mall manager Peggy O'Brien.

Former Dickinson resident Amanda Beiber was sad to hear of the closure, since it's the home of her first job.

"I was working there when Titanic came out and everybody was going to the theaters," Beiber said. "I loved it. All the people who worked there were really nice."

Beiber now resides in Colorado, but said she used to come back to visit with former coworkers.

"I wasn't thinking it would ever close," she said.

Odyssey Entertainment of Maple Grove, Minn., will open a theater in the mall with "new and exciting changes" by Friday, according to the press release.

A spokesperson from Carmike Cinemas confirmed the Dickinson closure was permanent and a new Carmike location will not be opened in the city, but declined further comment Friday.

O'Brien declined comment outside of the press release.

It's unclear why Carmike Cinemas shut down.

However, at least two other tenants of the mall have been unable to renew their leases.

Craig Steve, owner of All American Travel, will be relocating in May. Steve said he was unable to renew his lease at Prairie Hills mall.

"It's surprising, not knowing for sure the reason why," Steve said. "It definitely will be inconvenient to displace the business and there will be some cost associated with being displaced."

The business has operated in the mall since 1979, he said, adding he took ownership more than 18 years ago.

"I've identified some property in town and it looks good for me having a new location," Steve said, adding he is excited for a fresh start.

Deb Lervik, owner of Foxes Den, said her rent would go up more than three times what she currently pays if she didn't move out. She plans to close at Prairie Hills Mall at the end of April and reopen in Medora.

"I don't really want to close my store," Lervik said. "I just can't afford the rent that they're asking."

She is going into her sixth year of business and remains optimistic about its future.

"I'm kind of excited," Lervik said. "It's not closing the door on my business, I'm just relocating."

The lease-renewing issue doesn't seem to be affecting all tenants. Jeff Hafner, co-owner of Starboard, said a new lease was negotiated in November.

"It was a give and take," he said.

However, rent was raised to more than twice what they were paying before, he said. Starboard opened nearly two years ago.

Rumors have been swirling about the mall building being used for something besides retail. However, O'Brien said it's not true.

"The problem I see right now is there are more businesses going out than there is coming in," Hafner said about the mall. "I know businesses going out ... in this type of economy is never a good thing."

Pizza-lovers have also been unable to get their favorite dishes from Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream since it recently closed. The building was dark and appeared uninhabited Friday.

Kristel Whitty-Ersan, Happy Joe's Support Center director of marketing in Bettendorf, Iowa, declined comment but later emailed a statement.

"We are temporarily closed to remodel and open with a new branding extension," she wrote in an email.

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