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AROUND TOWN: Fun center planned next to Fuji in Grand Forks

Fun center planned next to Fuji in Grand Forks

An arcade, laser tag and mini-golf business is planned for the space between Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and Planet Fitness on South Washington Street.

Zar’s Fun Center will occupy the 7,800 square-foot space, which is the former site of Leevers grocery store at 715 S. Washington St.

Jamey Summers, who opened the Ju Ju Sweets at 1911 S. Washington St. last year with her sister Tracy, is helping open Zar’s. She said she’s not sure when it would open and construction hasn’t started yet.

Summers said Ju Ju Sweets, which has been closed since April, would also move into the Zar’s space.

East Grand Forks native turns love into career

Angie Helms describes herself as having a “type A” personality, which meant she liked to help friends and family plan their vacations.

Now Helms, who lives in upstate New York, is using that and a love for travel into a career — with some ties to her hometown of East Grand Forks.

Helms launched At the Helm Travel earlier this month. She’s been helping couples plan their honeymoons and vacations.

Helms is also planning trips for East Grand Forks’ Triangle Coach Service, which is owned by her dad and East Grand Forks City Council member Dale Helms. Those trips include multi-day golf outings and sporting events in the Twin Cities.

“What I want to offer customers is a great value for money,” she said.

Helms, who moved away from East Grand Forks in 1996, said her business came from a love for travel.

“I’ve traveled pretty extensively,” she said. 

New leader for Columbia Mall

Justin Valinski has been named the general manager of Grand Forks’ Columbia Mall.

Valinski, a Grand Forks native, has worked as the specialty leasing representative for the mall since 2009. He recruited Dolce Vita, Olive Barrel, Ragstock and Deja Blu Salon to the mall, according to a news release.

“My goal is ensure that Columbia Mall continues to be the premier destination for shopping and entertainment in northeast North Dakota while enhancing the mall’s performance,” said Valinski in the press release.

Valinski is taking over for Bill Reid, the previous manager who recently retired.

“We’re confident that his expertise will reinforce Columbia Mall’s position as the preferred retail destination for consumers in the Red River Valley area,” said Garo Kholamian, president of GK Development, which owns and manages the mall.

Columbia Mall welcomed Scheels All Sports as an anchor tenant in late June, filling a space that had long remained vacant.