Rent-A-Flik, Payson's longest operating video store, closed its doors for good Tuesday.
"Our lease expired at the end of the month," said Harvey Boyd, president of H & D Diversified, the owner of the Rent-A-Flik and Star Video independent rental chains. "We were unable to negotiate a renewal of that lease at a rate that's attractive to a (business dealing with a) high-volume, low-margin product."
Boyd said that he, his staff and a property manager scoured Payson for an alternative site, but came up empty-handed.
His company acquired Rent-A-Flick three years ago. At that time, it had been operating in Payson for five years, starting out in a much smaller storefront near Bashas'.
"We wish it could have continued," Boyd said. "I suspect, though, considering the way Payson is growing and developing, that there will be another big-name video store there soon."
Boyd operates 12 stores, all in small Arizona towns, and that number will not be changing. The inventory from Payson's Rent-A-Flik will be moved to the company's new video rental store in St. Johns, Ariz.
"It's close to our store in Springerville, so we'll have a common manager oversee both of them," Boyd said. "The location we've found is about the same size as our Payson store, for about one-fifth the rent.
"But we may come back to Payson one day. The nature of the business is that the Blockbusters and Hollywood Videos dominate the urban markets and as they spread out, I suspect the independents will find their true niche in the Springervilles, the St. Johns, the Paysons and the Camp Verdes of the world."