DENVER (CBS4) – A devastating blow comes to the retail community as vendors at Denver Mart were notified their showrooms would have to close at the end of March.

“I remember how busy it was the first time I was there in the early 80s, not with my company but looking around, looking for opportunities,” Rusty Richardson said.

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Richardson runs Huckleberry People, which specializes in Huckleberry products. His company has a space inside the mart.

(credit: CBS)

“Got a showroom there in the early 90s with a group people. Then in early 2000, (we) got a showroom of our own.”

Richardson along with other operators learned last week the Mart would be closing down in March. Management has yet to comment, but to some it is a sign of how the wholesale business has changed.

“Definitely COVID-19 didn’t help, the e-commerce has definitely sucked up some of it, and the large box retailers,” Richardson explained.

The closure will mean major trade shows will be without a home, along with popular events such as the Rocky Mountain Train Show.

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“We’re lucky we have a niche market with the Huckleberry. It’s a unique thing you can’t get everywhere,” he added.

The Huckleberry People, based in Montana, now plan to travel to large trade shows to get products introduced to new retailers.

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“I think there will be still national shows, which for us will be in Las Vegas and Atlanta.”

Richardson say his representatives will continue to travel throughout Colorado, but the Denver Mart will hold a special place in his memories.

“It’s kind of sad to see it go, a lot of good business and a lot of good times.”

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Vendors also told us they are still working to find a new venue, potentially to replace Denver Mart.