Le Travel Store in Gaslamp District Closing

Owners Bill and Joan Keller bid adieu to downtown

By Sarah Grieco
|  Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013  |  Updated 3:57 PM PDT
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Park It in the Great Outdoors

Le Travel Shop at 743 4th Ave. will close its doors by the end of August.

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A well-known travel outfitters store in San Diego is closing after 37 years.

Le Travel Store, owned by Joan and Bill Keller since 1976, will shut its doors by the end of August. The Kellers released a video, announcing that it was time to pack up the shop.

The store originated in Pacific Beach, then moved to Horton Plaza in 1985. Nearly 10 years later, the Kellers purchased the Labor Temple building at 743 4th Ave. in the Gaslamp District, where they’ve been ever since.

Bill told NBC 7 that originally they wanted to sell the store to another owner, but companies such as Amazon made it hard for their online division to take off.

“It’s a challenge to a lot of traditional businesses,” he said.

But the historical building is in a prime location, so the couple decided to sell.

“The value of the building is much more than the value of the business,” Bill told NBC 7.

He said that the building is currently in escrow and the deal should be finalized by mid-August. The two-story property has around 10,000 sq. ft. and also houses some offices upstairs, which Bill said will remain in the building.

Once the deal goes through, the duo said they plan to spend time with their family and, of course, do some traveling.

Until the doors of Le Travel Shop close for good, the store is having a retirement sale.

As the Kellers prepare for their next big adventure, Bill said he’s happy they had a good run.

“We have a deep appreciation to our customers, staffers and vendors,” he said. “We loved the opportunity to have the most interesting people in the world come through our shop.”
 

Au Revoir and Thanks for 37 Great Years from Jesse Keller on Vimeo.

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