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Downtown bike, ski shop closes

BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji downtown store is closing its doors for the final time today.

Kirby Harmon, owner of The Bike Guy Ski and Bike Shop, has been doing business in Bemidji for the last four years but has decided to close his business because of financial issues.

Harmon said the main contributing factor to the shop closing has nothing to do with bikes, but rather the skis he sells.

"Our problem was we had carried skis at a time when the ski industry went to an Internet-based sales model," Harmon said. "We just kind of got caught in the middle of that and ended up with so much ski debt that we just couldn't come up from underneath it."

Harmon said he plans on continuing to live in Bemidji but does not know what his future job plans entail.

"I don't plan on being back in the bike business," he said.

Harmon said the last few weeks have been spent calling customers to get them to come into the shop to pick up bikes they had in for repair.

"Last week, I delivered quite a few to people just because we were closed but I was still able to get a hold of them."

Even though his bike store is being forced to close, Harmon said Bemidji was a good place for him to set up shop and believes small bike shops in the area will be able to continue to thrive.

"On the bike side of things, we were perfectly healthy," he said. "As for the community, you can see with the bike share program and things like that, it's going to go nothing but up from here. It's just that it hit us kind of too late -- it's too little, too late."

The last day of business is today, with a going-out-of-business sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.