By: Tammy Daniels On: 11:51PM / Wednesday June 09, 2010
Customers thought the little boats in the windows of Tangiers meant owner Barbara May was going vacation.
Barbara May had to change the signs in the window of Tangiers Boutique the other day. She'd put some little sailboats in the window of the Main Street store with signs saying "going, going, gone" and a final note telling customers the shop would close on June 30.
"People were coming in and asking when we were going to reopen," she said on Tuesday. "[Because of the boats] they thought we were going on vacation."
If it's a vacation, it's a permanent one. The tanning salon and gift shop is over and done on June 30 and a new sign makes it quite clear it's not a vacation: "Finished, closing for good, over & done, kaput."
"Our cookie has crumbled," May repeated. "And our ship has sailed."
The salon's struggled to stay open over the past few years. May nearly called it quits in fall 2008, but a last-minute lease renegotiation and an outpouring of support kept the doors open. She'd considered a move to Eagle Street — but the building burned down.
"We tried to be optimistic," she said, but the economic downturn over the past year was too much. "We can't outlast it.
"We tried to donate to the community and we tried to be there creating jobs and supporting things that's why owning a small business is so much fun," she continued. "We just hope that everybody that came here enjoyed it. We had wonderful time and we'll miss it."
The boutique is having a going out-of-business sale; May said the fixtures are also for sale. Its closure leaves yet another empty storefront on Main Street.
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What is the deal with all the complacency with this from the City perspective? Yet another empty store front added to the streetscape (IN JUNE!!!) This is just sad,sad, so sad! When is Mass MoCA going to be a part of downtown other than 1 new festival? (Which actually may not help downtown or my business at all) Pull the plug already and let the gasping Downtown die. Open more banks, offices, and pizza parlors. That seems to be the way at Scarafoni Realty. How many people have to try without any support at all? Mass MoCA, NA Office Of Tourism, Event Planners, Develop North Adams, City Councilors, and all related organizations...what's the plan? FOR 10+ years now you all just sit idly by, and gaze upon 140,000+ people traveling in and out of MoCA's parking lot, and then out of town! We then complain and blame one another. EYE CATCHING SIGNAGE, WAY FINDING PATHS, BIGGER BETTER BRAND NEW EVENTS, BIGGER EXISTING EVENTS, DOWNTOWN SCULPTURES SPONSORED BY MoCA, SLOW DOWN MAIN STREET AND ALL DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC, ART EVERYWHERE, RENT BREAKS FOR RETAIL????? All easy to do. It just depends on whether anyone really wants to exert the effort, or really care for that matter. I'm not holding my breath for downtown success, I'd pass out fast! I 110% support you, but, Mr Alcombright, what's the plan?
Alot is happening now. The DNA group is planning alot for the downtown. We all have to re-start now with the new administration. Dick can only do so much. The Tourism Office, MoCA, and City Hall are beginning to work together and talk about better partnerships...be patient...good things will happen!
It's so easy to blame "the tourists" and MoCA for people not going to Main Street businesses, and yet people like So, I'd ask you... when was the last time you went to Tangiers? When was the last time you went into the majority of stores downtown? Main Street cannot survive on tourism. It needs local support, and frankly, the majority of our local population doesn't want to visit a tanning salon. It also doesn't help when every Main Street business but the pizza shops you mentioned close at 5. Visit a real downtown, like in Great Barrington. Shops are open every evening. And they're booming. Locals are in there, along with tourists.
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