Pizza Hut ends 30-year tradition

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After more than three decades on the Hill, the restaurant has closed its doors

By Carol A. Clark

Pizza Hut has vacated the 2,500 square foot space in Central Park Square it has leased for more than 30 years.

Building owner Elmo CdeBaca of the Shannon Corporation spoke about the situation in an interview Monday afternoon saying the store wasn’t doing very well anymore.

“The main corporate office was leasing it for a long time, maybe 35-37 years,” he said. “Some of the outlying stores weren’t doing very good a few years ago so they sold them off to a San Jose, Calif., company with an office in Denver. The local store wasn’t doing that well anymore so they just closed it down when the lease ran out, which is Sept. 30.”

A dark pink slip of paper taped to the outside of the building near the front door simply states that as of Sept. 8 the store is closed adding, “We are sorry for any inconvenience.”

CdeBaca hopes to lease the space but didn’t express much optimism when discussing the possibility.

“Our plan is to try to get it cleaned up and re-lease it but it’s awfully hard to get anyone to come up here because we just don’t have the numbers in terms of population. Seven thousand of our people live in White Rock so that drops us down to about 11,000 – just slightly larger than Tecolote, N.M.,” CdeBaca said. “The blue chips won’t talk to you unless you’re at least 35,000 people. It’s also very difficult to get employees.”

CdeBaca almost brought WalMart to Los Alamos a decade or so ago, he said. It was going to be built on the property where Los Alamos National Bank sits today.

“There was an administration change at WalMart so they didn’t come here then,” he said. “The second time WalMart was going to come here they paid me earnest deposit money then backed off and moved to Española.”

To get someone like JC Penney’s to come up here there would need to be at least 50,000 people living here, he said.

Anyone interested in discussing the former Pizza Hut space can contact the Shannon Corporation at 662-6000.