DULUTH - Downtown Duluth's Catherine Imports has already announced
it'll shut its doors for good at the end of the year, which makes them the
third business in the past five years, including The Sandpiper and Torke
Weihnachten, to pull away from Superior street.
Workers at the boutique shop say one of the reasons forcing
them to end business is because of loiterers believed to be coming from Last Place
Last Place owner Jim Carlson doesn't see it that way at all.
"Sandpiper's already gone out of business, before I
even started selling this product, because of lack of sales, so it had nothing
to do with me" said Carlson.
FOX 21 also talked with nearby business managers from other
establishments along Superior Street. They all chose not to go on camera or even have their names
mentioned out of fear of retaliation from people who shop at Last Place.
They did say Carlson's head shop has and still is greatly
impacting their businesses and costing them money.
Carlson isn't backing down and even goes as far as to blame
the problem on the liquor industry.
"It’s not my customers causing the trouble, it's the
alcoholic people panhandling that they just can’t get rid of… It’s every month
we are adding new liquor establishment in this town, and the bottom line is, is
Colorado and Washington state have shown by their voting that not everyone
wants to drink" said Carlson.
Friday at 10 a.m. will be another big day involving Carlson
and the City of Duluth. They'll be in court again, but so will business leaders and President of the Duluth area Chamber of Commerce David Ross.
Ross says they'll be packing the courtroom because the
business leaders are tired of the "shenanigans" happening at Last
Place on Earth.