Gadue’s out; Passport looks to move locations

Gadue's out, Passport Video in

July 17, 2008
By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Two tenants at Cornerstone Drive in Williston will experience some changes in the coming months. Gadue's Dry Cleaners will be closing its Williston branch at the end of August and Passport Video hopes to take over the space around the same time.

Gadue's Dry Cleaning owner Mark Gadue confirmed the company, which has 10 other locations in the Champlain Valley, is closing its Williston branch.

"We have a great, loyal customer base, but it's just not the best location," Gadue said.{mosimage} 

Nicole Senecal, a real estate agent with Omega Real Estate Associates, said Passport Video plans to take over the Gadue location at the end of August, but there is nothing definite. Senecal's father, Al Senecal, owns the Cornerstone Drive buildings and lets Omega manage the site.

Gadue's lease ends Aug. 31, while Passport's lease expires in December. Senecal said there are efforts to let Passport move before December, but Omega also wants to find another tenant for the video store's space.

"They intend on downsizing, it's just a question of when," Senecal said.

The current Passport location is a 2,800 square-foot space, while Gadue's Dry Cleaning is only 1,420 square feet, Senecal said.

Observer photo by Tim Simard
Passport Video on Cornerstone Drive is looking to move across the parking lot into the space currently occupied by Gadue's Dry Cleaning when the latter's lease runs out at the end of August. Gadue's does not plan to renew the lease

The locally owned video store, which has had to deal with competition from online video renters such as Netflix and bigger video store chains, is moving to a smaller space to "cut overhead," according to owner Mike Bergin.

Passport Video is currently bolstering its DVD collection and selling its VHS cassette collection. Customers can buy the old cassette tapes fairly cheaply, Bergin said, depending on the movie title. All videos are on sale as a two-for-one deal, he said.

Bergin said Passport currently has more than 7,000 DVDs, many of which are new releases, for rent. With the store focusing on renting only DVDs, there is no longer a need for a large space, he added.

"We used to have that (amount) in VHS tapes, but we've sold a lot off," Bergin said.

Bergin said he's looking forward to moving his store the short distance. He said there's still a need in Williston for a locally owned video store, even amidst the online competition. He added his store works best for patrons who want to view a new release as soon as it comes out. People who use Netflix sometimes have to wait a long time before a new release is mailed to them, he said.

"We make things available to (customers) when they want something right away," Bergin said.
As for Gadue's Dry Cleaning, Gadue said there aren't any plans to open another location in town, but he was open to the possibility. Gadue bought out the previous tenant, Mountain Air Cleaners, and began leasing the spot about five years ago.

Gadue said he wants to maintain the customer base he had in Williston and wants to encourage clients to sign up for the route delivery service, or to visit one of the company's other locations.

"We certainly have a number of very loyal, local clients and we hope that we can keep them," Gadue said.