Pizza Hut closes its doors in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Pizza Hut closes its doors in Steamboat

Restaurant shuts doors Tuesday, was at Sundance Plaza for more than 25 years

Luke Graham

The Steamboat Springs Pizza Hut closed its doors Tuesday night. The business has been in Sundance Plaza since 1983.

Steamboat Springs — Options for pizza in Steam­boat Springs just decreased by one. — Options for pizza in Steam­boat Springs just decreased by one.

— Options for pizza in Steam­boat Springs just decreased by one.

Pizza Hut, located off U.S. Highway 40 in Sundance Plaza, closed its doors at 9 p.m. Tuesday, ending more than 25 years of business at the location.

Sundance at Fish Creek Man­ager and Owner Representative Bob Larson confirmed the closing Tuesday morning.

Larson said Pizza Hut's lease is up at the end of October. He said the rent for the space didn't increase; rather, it was a corporate decision to leave.

"There was no conflict or problem between us," Larson said. "It was just a business decision by the corporate office."

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The Pizza Hut in Steamboat has been at the Sundance location since 1983. It had 12 full-time employees, most of whom had worked at the store for more than three years.

"We just want to thank Steamboat for all they've done for us," said manager John Hamilton, whose 16th year at Pizza Hut would have been next week. "There were some great customers, and we hate leaving. That's the one thing I'll miss. I'll miss my customers."

The Pizza Hut is owned by NPC International Inc. According to its website, NPC operates 1,142 stores in 28 states. The company is the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in the world and operates 55 restaurants in Colorado.

Multiple calls to the NPC International offices in Overland Park, Kan., were not returned Tuesday.

A release of second fiscal quarter numbers at the end of June showed the company sales increased 10.4 percent, compared with a 12.6 decrease last year.

The company's debt also was reduced by $31.33 million.

Larson's father, Jim, bought the shopping center in 2002. In 2003, Pizza Hut downsized as the shopping center was renovated.

Bob Larson said Tuesday that he was talking to other people and businesses about occupying the space, but he couldn't give exact details about what might go into the building. He said he also didn't have a timetable for when a new business might be in.

"They were a great tenant for many years," Larson said. "We are looking forward to having a very marketable, highly visible space. We'll see how it works out."

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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