Albany party store fights to stay alive
ALBANY The Party Warehouse is facing tough times, but its owner is not yet ready to close his 25-year-old business.
Jerry Sykes said he intends to keep his sole remaining store on Fuller Road open for as long as he can.
“The main branch will be open today and Sunday, and we are staying open and trying to work this thing through,” he said Friday.
Citing a dramatic decline in business, Sykes last week closed stores in Clifton Park and Springfield, Mass., laying off about 30 people. The Fuller Road store employs 20, he said.
“It is primarily the two years of road construction on Fuller Road” that hurt his business, he said. The road has undergone major reconstruction, resulting in closures and delays.
This year, Albany County and the state spent $18 million to replace the intersection with a roundabout on Fuller Road and an overpass for through-traffic on Washington Avenue Extension. The year before, the road faced similar delays and closures with the construction of the new Albany NanoTech building.
Sykes said people have avoided the road as a result of the work.
“They closed parts of it for three weeks six weeks ago,” Sykes said. “People have been avoiding Fuller Road because it is a mess.”
Sykes said he approached county and state officials for assistance in saving his business.
“They said they could help us with public relations, but not money,” he said.
He said other businesses on Fuller Road are also suffering because of the construction work.
“They all have been affected by the construction. They are not going through the same thing we are, but wait and see,” he said.
Sykes bought the Party Warehouse 25 years ago. There were two stores then, and it had been already been open four years prior.
“Life goes on. We will get through this. This is a stepping stone in life, but we will be fine. Personally we will be fine,” he said.