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Friday, June 25, 1999


Discovery Zone
closes in Waikele

The abrupt move comes after
its parent company files
for bankruptcy

From staff and wire reports

Tapa

The Discovery Zone FunCenter at the Waikele Premium Outlets shopping center has closed, apparently for good.

The closing was one of many across the country related to the bankruptcy of Discovery Zone Inc., which is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and has corporate offices in Elmsford, N.Y.

The Waikele store did not open for business yesterday and its windows were papered over.

Discovery Zone filed for bankruptcy court protection in April, its second Chapter 11 filing since 1996. A message at one of the company's telephone numbers, 1-954-316-5525, says customers seeking refunds of deposits or for annual passes will have to do so through the bankruptcy court.

The Waikele outlet opened in 1994, offering children a fun experience, crawling through tunnels, bouncing around among colorful plastic balls, and other activities.

The store employed 42 part-time workers.

Nearby stores feared the closure will cost them business.

Stephanie Kanoa, the manager of Carter's For Kids, said her clothing store sold a lot of socks, because they were required footwear at the Discovery Zone.

Waikele general manager Jennifer Bradley said the center won't have trouble finding a business to replace D-Z, because there is a waiting list of prospective tenants.

Discovery Zone officials could not be reached for comment this morning.



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