Hadn't been to the Outlets at Castle Rock for quite a while -- and my visit on Labor Day offered an indication of just how vibrant (or not) the retail economy is in these parts right now. I'd estimate that approximately a third of the spaces in the sprawling complex are empty right now, with the last two pods only about half full. No doubt the Democratic National Convention brought a big infusion of cash to certain businesses. But such investments clearly haven't trickled down this far south. -- Michael Roberts
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