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NBA Lockout Is Hurting Downtown Denver Merchants

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CBS4's Tom Mustin talks to 16th Street Mall business owner Jackob Meshulam (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Tom Mustin talks to 16th Street Mall business owner Jackob Meshulam (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – NBA players and owners have resumed talks to end the league’s lockout. The goal is to reach a deal by Friday, and then start a shortened, 66-game season.

“It would be heartbreaking for the guys not to be able to play and the fans not be able to watch,” a fan said.

Along the bustling streets of downtown Denver, people are talking basketball.

“I hope it’s not canceled. I hope we have some games this year,” another fan said.

The NBA lockout and the possibility of a season without the Denver Nuggets is a hot topic.

“I can’t stand the idea of it. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” another fan said.

But for Jackob Meshulam, the issue is personal. Meshulam came to America from Israel 4 years ago to start his own business. He sells sunglasses from a kiosk on the 16th Street Mall. He counts on the extra business from Nuggets home games at the nearby Pepsi Center.

“People come from Boulder, Colorado Springs,” Meshulam said. “I believe it’s like at least 10,000 people more just on this 16th Street Mall … I’m just one of many others here losing money.”

Meshulam said when the Nuggets hit the hardwood he makes at least $300 extra per game.

There are roughly 50 home games, including the playoffs. Meshulam said that’s money his business can’t afford to lose.

“It’s another $15,000 a year. That’s a lot of money. That’s 20 percent of my income — another 20 to 30 percent of my income,” he said.

If there’s no NBA season, Meshulam says his business will barely survive. Now his future is in the hands of multi-millionaires who apparently are refusing to budge.

“I hope in my heart the season will start as soon as possible,” Meshulam said.

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