BUCKHANNON – Jesterline Gaming Technologies will officially close its doors Friday, Dec. 18.
Owner of Jesterline Jarod Ramsey said that will be the last day for customers to utilize their equipment and services.
“Saturday the 19th is when staff will come back in and then we’ll be in preparation for removing assets and selling remaining of equipment, and then the storefront will vacate the property at the end of the month – that’s where it stands right now,” Ramsey said.
The store is currently selling items from the storefront including gaming consoles, PCs, controllers, monitors and furniture.
“We’re pushing everything solely to the Facebook page. Individuals are allowed to inquire and get information if they want to come in to make a deposit to be able to secure a device or furniture or something like that,” Ramsey said. “At this point, it is first-come first-serve and we are keeping track of all deposits and what is still available.”
Ramsey said Jesterline was designed to be a place for people to gather, which became problematic with the pandemic.
“We did a mandatory shutdown near the beginning of the year due to state mandates, and we were successful in achieving the government-assisted programs such as payroll protection, so we were able to keep staff on board through that duration,” Ramsey said. “Once everything came back online and we were able to get back, there was this freeze of people, which resulted from people not knowing if they should come back out and be going to a business.”
He said the summer months were hard, and they were worried about another shutdown or new mandates.
“We asked ourselves if we want to entertain another government assistance program – did we want to try to go through another couple weeks shut down and could we do it? Could we survive from what the winter was going to bring? What are the holidays going to bring? Are people going to want to come back out? What are the schools actually doing?” Ramsey said. “If we had more to offer than being able to invite people to come and gather, it’d be a different story, but that was 90 percent of our business, so it just came down to it being a risk.”
Ramsey said while the storefront will be closing, he is hoping Jesterline will continue by offering eSports at schools.
“There’s been opportunities for the schools to have eSports as a varsity sport at the middle school and high school, and we’ve made contact with some schools, but right now it’s not a priority, and I understand that and I respect that,” Ramsey said. “When it comes time that the schools want to start entertaining that idea again or having an option for alternative sports, we’ll be ready.”
Ramsey said they appreciated their time on Main Street and wanted to thank everyone who supported them.
“This is affecting everybody. I’ve had a lot of local businesses come to us and we swap stories, talk about how things are as a small business owner, and we want to thank everyone for their support,” Ramsey said. “Nothing is forever, but there is a possibility that something may return. It was interesting having an innovation and having the whole community embrace it, and we thank everybody for that.”