changing retail in Boulder

If you have lived in Boulder for only a few years, you must notice that a great number of stores and restaurants downtown are no longer with us.  This is just a partial list and just from around downtown, of places that closed in 2009:

B-Side Lounge, Heidi’s Deli, It’s Your Move, Elena Ciccone, Blink Gallery, Orchid Pavilion, Master Goldsmiths, The Body Shop, Spud Brothers, Kinsley & Co., Sunglass Pros, Sunflower, Bart’s CD Cellar, Scotch Corner Pub, Burnt Toast, The Foundry, Sidney’s Coffee, Atmosphere, Yaki Maki

Along with these closings, there are a number of significant moves:

Alpaca Connection and ArtMart, both moving along Pearl Street

So, while there are some new faces of note (Salt, Happy Noodle, Two Spoons), the overall impression is that the character of the mall is changing.  What is certain, is that the explosive growth of medical marijuana dispensaries has been remarkable.  Some of Boulder’s at least 40 new outlets that are located in approximately the downtown area:

The Bud,  Boulder Wellness Center, Pain Management of Colorado, Boulder Alternative Medicine, Cannabis Healing Arts, THC Ministry of Boulder, Mountain Medicine of Boulder, Greenleaf Farmacy, Vape Therapeutics, Healing House, Boulder MMJ, The Greenest Green, Boulder Kind Care, Boulder Rx, MediPharm, Top Shelf Alternative, Trill Alternative, Indigenous Medicines, Boulder Vital Herbs, …

(as of May 2009 there were 705 registered medical marijuana patients in Boulder – that’s a lot choice)

So, what does this say about Boulder’s retail environment?  I guess I am not sure, but there are an awful lot of landlords that with the closings listed above, would be in a world of pain and luckily medical marijuana is here to ease that chronic pain.

Is there a consistent or even vaguely referential aspect of the design of all of these dispensaries?  Is Boulder on the edge of an emerging weed design aesthetic?  Maybe someone should take a visual study of these outlets and see if there is a stash of great dope designs out there.

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