Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, May 14 2014 at 6:40 PM, Updated: Wed, May 14 2014 at 10:49 PM
Klamath falls, Ore. -- Construction crews are preparing the old 'Gottschalks' store in Klamath Falls for a new tenant.
The Gottschalks building will soon be home to a new store.
But until papers are signed, Trey Senn of the Klamath County Economic Development Association says the name of the business will remain a mystery...
"Mum's the word until maybe a week or two. Hopefully we'll get a signature and can be more public about it, and say who's coming in - because I think the public will be very pleased."
The building has been vacant ever since the Gottschalks chain of 58 stores declared bankruptcy, and closed five years ago.
Senn notes that the retail space is now providing some construction jobs...
"It certainly has heated up in the last couple of days."
But Senn won't say what kind of a store is going in...
"A department store...sooner or later."
The new store is expected to open in time for Christmas shopping.
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KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.