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Tenants say they were forced to leave Pawn Plaza, opened by Rick Harrison

Posted at 11:35 PM, Apr 24, 2017

Pawn Plaza, owned by Rick Harrison from the hit show “Pawn Stars," says they are bouncing back after five shops shut their doors last year.

Two new shops popped up. One of the new shops is Jared’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. The other new shop is Elite Motor Retails where you can rent sling shot cars. A third business is set to open at the end of April.

Previous tenants like Paul Weinstein, owner of Rita’s Italian Ice, says he’s still upset about having to leave Pawn Plaza.

“I don’t know how I feel other than slighted and betrayed,” said Weinstein.

Weinstein says he had a second Rita’s location in Pawn Plaza for just over a year but it got too tough. He wasn’t making enough money to cover the rent.

Weinstein says the tenants were promised 100,000 to 150,000 customers that would visit the plaza each month. He says he was lucky if 30 or 40 customers visited his shop daily. He also says, in December 2016, Pawn Plaza doubled his rent.

“We were forced out, knowing that it (the rent) was more than we were making a month, why they doubled our rent and pretty much forced us to leave,” he said.

RELATED STORY: Pawn Plaza shops that have closed

A spokesperson with Pawn Plaza did not address if they increased Weinstein’s rent but they did give us this statement.

"Once new management took over Pawn Plaza in February of '16, there was never a month when the former tenant in question ever paid the amount originally agreed upon per contract, always less, regardless of the amount which did vary depending on business models.  One month the former tenant did not pay their rent and rather than evict that tenant that amount was amortized over 6 months to assist them financially.  Most importantly, the former tenant breached their contract when they left Pawn Plaza and while there are legal remedies available to Pawn Plaza they have not been pursued to date as management has been mindful of the potential financial burden to the former tenant." - Pawn Plaza spokesperson 

Weinstein says the four other tenants that left in 2016 had similar experiences where they just weren’t getting the customers they were promised.