Closure could be a game changer

Rogers Video closing Penticton location, leaving limited options for movie and game renters.

Owner Phil Carson of Replay Games shows off some of the unique products he has at his Westminster Avenue store. The closure of the larger video stores locally has had a positive impact on his operations.

With Dec. 4 set as the last rental date at Rogers Video, Penticton movie and game renters will have little choice left.

The impending closure has left many customers upset, compounded by the closure of Blockbuster just a few months ago.

“Absolutely,” agrees Rogers Video store manager Aaron Baisarowicz. “Lots of customers have said they are dismayed because where are they going to rent movies from or pay their bills? We have regular customers that come in here and people with special needs that come here every Tuesday and have done that forever. This definitely will impact people’s lives.”

Not only for the customers. Baisarowicz said there are eight people who will now lose their jobs, including one employee who has worked at the store for 15 years.

“I suspect this closure was put into motion at the beginning of last year when they closed 51 stores in Western Canada. I think it was also put into play quite a long before Blockbuster announced they were closing,” said Baisarowicz.

Leigh-Ann Popek, spokesperson for Rogers, said they are seeing customer demand changing and a growth of their online video on demand.

“We know that customers want the anytime, anywhere content and that’s what we are looking to give them,” said Popek, adding that from Dec. 5 to Jan. 15 Rogers will be having a liquidation sale.

For Phil Carson, owner of Replay Games located on 288 Westminster Ave. W., the news of the closure most likely means more rental business for him.

The local entrepreneur opened his store in 2010 and has seen his customer base grow steadily since. He repairs systems, resurfaces discs and buys, sells, trades and rents games from the most recent titles to retro games on all different platforms.

“Being the only place that will be renting video games of any kind is almost surreal. I was up against Blockbuster and Rogers and now neither one of them will be here and I’m still standing. That’s awesome,” said Carson.

The entrepreneur said a lot of people still want hard copies rather than download them onto a computer or stream them to a television. Especially when it comes to his specialty, video games. Carson pointed out not everyone can afford to purchase the newest games, or can track down the classic games that are in playable condition.

“Also, the people who come here aren’t asking about games to a movie store clerk. When you walk into a game store, everyone who works here knows about games. That is what we do,” said Carson.

Also keeping Replay Games relevant to consumers is the gaming area Carson has created. For $5 customers can get 60 minutes of gaming in on a big screen television on 10 different systems. Carson said he can also special order anything from anywhere in the world.

“Anything to do with gaming I can do it or can find it. I am the gaming guru,” chuckled Carson. “Every time I have someone new come into the store they see something and say ‘Oh my God, that totally takes me back.’ I don’t want people to think this is just another game store, I want them to think this is the best game store they have ever seen. I’ve got stuff that people have almost forgot about but they still work and still bring joy and that is what gaming is all about.”

Just Posted

First Things First and Penticton Lakeside Resort hosting environmental all-candidates debate Oct. 15

Ahead of the debate, there will be a round table discussion with the candidates

Final day of racing approaching at the Penticton Speedway

The Halloween finale starts at 2 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Travelling around the world of Penticton’s cuisines with Foodtopia

The 500 block celebrated the variety of restaurants on Main Street with a night of specials.

Parts of KVR Trail becoming dumping ground for stolen vehicles

More vehicles are turning up due to more patrolling, says Const. James Grandy

Hungry can enjoy Thanksgiving meal thanks to Soupateria volunteers

Thanksgiving and Christmas busiest time of year, says volunteer Randy Cranston

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

Letter: Policies need to be put into context

Reader wants to put party policies into the context of money compared to the natural world.

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

Most Read