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Longtime businesses leave downtown Wausau

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW)-- More changes are coming to the downtown Wausau scene. Some business owners are packing up shop and making plans for retirement.

"Time to take a rest and enjoy life a little bit. Do more skiing and do things you enjoy instead of working lots and lots of hours every week," Craig Randall, Owner of Randall Jewelers said.

Randall said while he has enjoyed his business, he is now looking forward to wrapping things up and having some fun. With merchandise marked down for sale, he hopes to close doors by January. His shop has been downtown for 26 years and though he's ready he said he has enjoyed being in the area.

"It's a nice neighborhood and the people, I'll miss the people. A lot of them are gone already though because the office buildings are empty," Randall said.

Just down the street another retirement sign is in the window, but HT Cobblery owner Terry Koss, said he doesn't have a closing date on the calendar. After selling the building over two years ago he is now paying rent and is still enjoying his work.

"Well it's more like when they bought the building they wanted to develop it, that's what they do and they do a good job at it. But I'm still here and they're comfortable with that and I'm comfortable doing it, but I can't do it forever," Koss said.

He has owned the business and been in the location for 40 years and says the internet is a big reason for closings.

"It's kind of a dying business, brick and mortar because of well, basically the internet. That's why the mall is, we were here before the mall, now the mall is gone and we're still here," Koss said.

Though he isn't sure what to expect with the planned changes downtown, he is hopeful.

"I'm pretty optimistic. But right now we'll keep sailing along. We'll take one day at a time and we'll hope for a bright future," Koss said.

Right now is is unclear if the businesses will be bought or just closed.

Brittany Slaughter

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