Despite a slow start, things are picking up at Carson City's Northtown Plaza Shopping Center, where three new businesses will open soon, according to Bruce Robertson of Gold Dust Commercial Associates.
In addition to the stores, recruiting offices for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines will move into one contiguous space.
"Retail sales are very active right now," he said. "I think, from looking at long-term positions within the market, both the sales dollars and customer base are there. Retailers see Northtown as space that's available and close to Carson City's northside retail shoppers and it's a great shopping center."
The three stores are slated to open during the holiday season.
Fleet Feet shoe store owner Tim Tetz and his wife, Jennifer, will open their store Monday at 10 a.m. The couple purchased the store in 1998. Tim Tetz said they spent three months researching their customer base before opening.
Carson City residents make up just 45 percent of their customers, but most are from the north side of town. The stores, of which there are 40 nationwide, tend to do very well next to a Starbucks, Tetz said.
"We're a destination store," he said. "Reno customers make up about 7 percent of our market, and the rest come from points south, including Gardnerville, Bishop and Lone Pine. We're hoping they'll come the extra four miles to shop here."
The shop sells primarily running shoes, but also concentrates on core youth sports, like soccer, wrestling, football and baseball. It also caters to local students, selling lettermen's jackets for 15 area schools.
Rene St. Pierre, owner of the Eagle Fitness Center, said Northtown Plaza's location had much to do with his decision to locate there. The chain owns six centers in Seattle and one in Denver.
Catering primarily to a female clientele, St. Pierre said the chain has been very successful against bigger gyms in Seattle, focusing on service rather than membership.
"The centers focus on an entirely different concept than others in this market," he said. "We have no contract, charge $20 per month, and offer free day care."
The fitness center is set to open Jan. 1.
Sa-Hair-A full-service salon has 11 hairstylists, four manicurists, an esthetician and a professional makeup artist. Phase one of the shop will open Dec. 1 with a full line of beauty supplies.
A firefighter with the Nevada Division of Forestry, Carson City resident and first-time business owner Mark Regan said the salon will bring in a number product lines from Southern California.
"No one has these lines in this area," he said.
Phase two will include two permanent makeup artists, five more nail stations and an aqua massage table, Regan said.