By Andrea Flores
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Hail and water damage from a severe storm on Monday have forced the Colorado Mills mall to close indefinitely.
With storm damage driving customers away from stores, store employees are left without a paycheck, and small business owners says costs are coming out of their own pockets.
“It’s like a war zone,” said Ty Hurd, an independent business owner inside the mall. “It was like little faucets turned on all over the place.”
Hurd and his brother Shea Estes own two kiosks in the mall, BDP Gear and Tech Stop, both small businesses with only three employees.
“The mall said we’re going to get this handled within a few days,” Hurd said. “Now we’re looking at a month before they get the building back in place.”
Hurd says other independently-owned operations are feeling the same pinch.
“We’re continuing to have to pay rent, insurance, and all of our operating expenses are still there, yet now we don’t have a venue to sell our products, so it’s kind of like the expenses of having a business without a place to conduct business,” Hurd said. “I think there are going to be some businesses that are no longer here when this clears up.”
Colorado Mills says they are working to open the mall as quickly as possible.
Hurd hopes BDP Gear’s online sales will keep them above water.