By Karen Billing
City Kids Beach Kids is leaving Del Mar Highlands Town Center after 20 years because its lease has not been renewed, according to Phil Ryan, who owns the business with his wife Lynn. Phil said the decision to leave was not theirs.
“The recession was tough but we survived it. We looked around for other options and there aren’t any available to us so we’re closing,” Ryan said. “That’s just life. It’s an earlier retirement than we planned but we’ll survive.”
Elizabeth Schreiber, Del Mar Highlands’ general manager, said that it is not their practice to disclose private landlord and tenant discussions. Schreiber said they do not have another tenant for the space.
Construction in the area currently is for a few new tenant spaces, one to the right of Geppetto’s and the other on the lower level to the left of the FedEx office.
The Ryans have been in business in San Diego for over 30 years. They started with a store in La Jolla and also had a store in Encinitas. The Del Mar Highlands location was their last store and they used to be located over by Jimbo’s before moving into the bigger space up top.
“It’s been a good run, retail definitely has its ups and downs,” Ryan said. “We made it through the recession and sales were growing strong and back to where we were before the recession. It’s a shame that they’re really not giving us any opportunity [to stay].”
The store’s lease runs through the end of September and Ryan said they plan to start their back-to-school sale a little earlier than usual this year.
At the end of over 20 years in business in Carmel Valley, Ryan said they are grateful for their very loyal customers.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Ryan said to his customers. “The customers we’ve had were phenomenal.”