One of two parent-child play centers located in the Route 7 corridor is going out of business, and the other is preparing to move into its rival’s facility.
With parents scrimping more on everything from groceries to summer camps, Cartwheels for Kids filed Tuesday for Chapter 7 liquidation and plans to shut its doors by Friday. At the same time, rival Tumbling Tykes is preparing to move from Peter Harris Plaza into Cartwheel’s standalone center and buy its assets in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albany.
“We took a hit with the economy,” said Cartwheels owner Martie Ripson.
Ripson is closing Cartwheels 14 months after she moved her business from East Greenbush to Latham. In 2004, she opened the center, which provides a play and learning environment for children younger than age 5 and their parents. Cartwheels offers music, dance and art classes for preschool children, but participation in its summer camp program plunged 75 percent this year, compared to 2007, Ripson said.
As Cartwheels headed deeper into financial straits, Ripson said she approached Tumbling Tykes owner Stacy Myron about arranging a deal between the two centers. Tumbling, less than a mile away from Cartwheels, closed Sunday and plans to reopen at its new location on Sept. 8.
Myron did not immediately return a call today.
In its Chapter 7 petition, Cartwheels cited $36,800 in assets and $380,400 in debts.
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