Flashback Friday: Safeways close around the Valley

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Nearly 30 years ago, the Clifton and Orchard Mesa Safeway stores shut down due to a sinking economy.

"Shoppers will have to go somewhere else to buy groceries at the end of the month.

Safeway is closing its Clifton and Orchard Mesa stores because there are just not enough customers. The slumping ecomony in the Grand Junction area has not caught up with almost every business and safeway is the latest victim.

'Our first store in Orchard Mesa was open in December 1981. that was prior to the energy, the demise that took place in may of 82. At that time we had no indication of anything and we thought that area would grow and build and with that in mind when we build our new store in '83 we again thought the energy slowdown would not be as severe as it had been. And of course at a time we built there were only 2 major competitors out in the area.'

The Clifton store is the newest of the five stores in Grand Junction and is the largest on the western slope. It employs 44 workers and was built just last year. Customers at both stores are just as disappointed as the workers.

'We've been shopping here for 15 years and never had the store go down yet. i hate to see it go.'

The company says it will do its best to transfer workers to other stores but cant make any guarantee."