Last Place Closing Results in Major Changes Downtown

By KBJR News 1

August 14, 2013 Updated Aug 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - It's almost been a month since Last Place on Earth was ordered to close it doors and community members have noticed a significant change in the downtown atmosphere.

If you ask emergency room doctors, surrounding businesses and Duluthians strolling Superior St., That answer would be a definite yes.

"I've seen kids that were going to college and started going there. Now they just go there and don't go to college anymore," says a concerned community member.

The negative effects of synthetics supplied by Last Place on Earth are undeniable.

The shop's hiatus has businesses awed by the changes they've seen downtown.

"The big difference is the police aren't in here all the time, before they'd be in here constantly," says Betty Tenkanen, cook at Coney Island.

There were numerous disturbances at the restaurant located near Last Place.

The night staff often spoke of feeling unsafe in their work place.

"The people that work at night here that close have felt have felt a lot safer too," says Nolan Graff, server at Coney Island.

The Duluth Police Dept. needed to assign extra officers to maintain a constant presence downtown.

"We had redeployed officers from parts of the city to downtown because it was that busy," says Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.

From June 26 to July 19th the DPD received 98 synthetic related calls from Superior Street.

From July 20 through August 12th, after Last Place was shut down, the number plummeted to 48.

But law enforcement officers weren't the only ones exhausting resources to deal with Last Place customers.

"They required multiple staff members as well as multiple security personnel," says Kevin Marble, a physician at St. Lukes emergency room.

But now...

"I'd say that it's close to a quarter or even less than that than we've been seeing when Last Place was open," Marble adds.

Wayne Maki a native Duluthian states his feeling on Last Place closing.

"Now it's peaceful we can walk by and it feels very comfortable and the police cars aren't in front dealing with problems all the time so it's really nice. It makes it nice to come downtown."

Jim Carlson's trial is set to take place Monday, August 19th.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware