LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas Arts District staple is closing its doors, for reasons you may not think.
Martin’s Mart thrift shop on Main Street, near Charleston has been a part of the Las Vegas community since the 80s.
The volunteer-based thrift store will close in November, due to high rent prices and lack of support.
Originally the rent was just under $1,000 but it has increased to $2,000.
Volunteers told 8 News Now they are heartbroken over the fact that they aren’t able to stay open much longer.
Judy Schacht is one of those volunteers and said she recently added that paid parking has deterred shoppers and finding staff to operate the store has been tough.
“We would like to stay open, but the biggest thing is that we have no control over our volunteers. You can’t make someone volunteer,” she said.
Many former volunteers who grew up going to the shop now have had to take a step back after the pandemic, having to provide a steady income for themselves and not being able to volunteer their time, like Miles Hoffman.
At fifteen years old, I would ride my bike up to the area and come up here,” he said. “I want to do whatever I can to help save it, move it, what have you. Whatever we can do it’s a vital resource I feel.”
In recent months, the City of Las Vegas announced plans on expanding the Arts District area, which for many store owners and locals fear will mean higher rent and the closures of more stores.
“I’m afraid that if it continues it’s not going to be the Art District it was built on,” Hoffman said. “I think it’s trying to push out the little guys like this that gives the neighborhood character.”
A Gofundme has been created to help Martin’s Mart with rent fees in the hopes that they won’t have to close down.
As of now the store is only open three days during the week.
Other thrift stores closing down in the Arts District area include ‘Retro Vegas’ which closed its doors a couple of months ago and will soon be the new location for Esther’s Kitchen.