Some sad news out of Cary today.
Planet Child, the popular playspace for kids, is closing for good at 5 p.m. Saturday. Owner Persephone Hohls told me this morning that the poor economy forced the decision.
"This is not what we wanted to do," she said in an interview this morning. "We put everything we have and everything we earn went into this. For us, it's incredibly hard to break it down."
In an email to Planet Child fans last night, Persephone and Edmund Hohls wrote: "Our family personally sponsored Planet Child from its inception of upgrading the facility with new restrooms, air conditioning systems and much more, to maintaining daily operations over the last three years. With the economic downturn, never before experienced in our lifetimes, our revenues dropped substantially and we are no longer able to sustain the business. We have been forced to shut our doors permanently."
Planet Child has been a favorite for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. There are mini versions of an adult's world ... a kitchen and grocery store, for instance, plus electric train sets, a safari exhibit and more. Kids spend hours there. Many celebrated birthdays.
The last birthday parties are scheduled for Saturday. And the Hohls are in talks with other children's museums to take over existing memberships through their expirations.
It was pretty easy to hear the disappointment in Persephone's voice this morning. And it's obvious from the email to their fans.
"It has been an honor and a pleasure to do business with each and every one of you," they wrote in their email. "We were indeed privileged to have participated in your birthdays, met your extended families, and seen your children grow."