Friday, September 3, 2010

The Mint offered for $6 million

Several Hailey businesses closing, some moving in

Express Staff Writer

The Mint, one of the more prominent structures on Main Street in Hailey, is on the market after the nightclub was closed down. Photo by David N. Seelig

Hailey's Main Street is beginning to look a little blighted. Businesses are closing and two large buildings in the downtown core are up for sale, including The Mint, which is owned by actor Bruce Willis.

The Mint has been on the market for a month at $5,950,000. The nightclub and bar closed last year, leaving a big hole in the Hailey nightlife scene. Sun Valley Brewery, two blocks north, has taken up some of the slack, with regular live music from around the country.

"We can't sell buildings in Ketchum for prices like that, but what the hell," said Sotheby's agent Stewart Hogue. Sotheby's is the listing agent for the sale.

Across the street, another large building that once housed the Red Elephant restaurant and bar is for sale at auction later this month.

Willis, with his then-wife Demi Moore, bought The Mint in 1990. They also bought commercial property on the corner of Main and Croy streets that is now home to the E.G. Willis Building.

Willis still owns the E.G. Willis Building and the Liberty Theatre on Main Street. Moore owns the recently remodeled and partitioned Old Drug Store Building across the street from The Mint.

Moore was spotted earlier this summer with her husband, actor Ashton Kuchner, checking in on her Main Street tenant, McClain's pizzeria.

When Willis started buying up property in Hailey 20 years ago, he told the press that Hailey was "like living in the 1950s," and said he hoped his efforts would bring prosperity to the town. He said he saw another small town in New Jersey slowly die from lack of business. He said he wanted Hailey to be spared a similar fate.


But some things even a movie star can't help.

The Hitchrack gas station and hotel closed recently at the south end of Main Street. The Barber's Edge beauty salon shut down two weeks ago. The Summit Auto used-car lot at the north end of Main is now vacant. All along Main Street are "for rent" and "for sale" signs.

Despite the dire look of Hailey's downtown, at least two new businesses are filling buildings left vacant by the recession.

Red Door Design House, owned by Marina Broschofsky, recently relocated from Bellevue to 18 W. Bullion St. in Hailey. The interior decorating business took over buildings that recently housed a gun shop and tattoo parlor.

"I was in Bellevue for seven years. I live there and think it has so much opportunity," Broschofsky said. "But I expected developments south of Bellevue, like Cove Ranch and Griffin Ranch, to have been further along by now. Hailey is more convenient for almost all of my clients."

Hailey will also have yet another pizza restaurant soon. The Flatbread Co., with 10 other locations from Martha's Vineyard to Maui, has hung a sign at the former location of La India restaurant, at the corner of Main and Croy streets.

Tony Evans:

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