Well......dang it! It's kind of like when you come out of the bathroom and your friends already left the gathering you were having at your place. So you say "hey, where did Ron and Tammy go?" And the one friend that you wish would leave but won't, says "they just took off." That's pretty much what it's like with the news that Flying Squirrel in Missoula will be closing down. We're all just over here wishing we had the chance to say goodbye - or in this case, get one last session of fun in before they had to go.

It's only been a couple of weeks since they suddenly closed and left a note on the door. The reasons were a bit vague at the beginning but over the next few days some details were released about the landlord of the building not willing to work with Flying Squirrel on rent issues. On Jan. 9, a co-owner of the business was quoted in a Missoulian article as saying, "While admissions lagged, the management team sought to negotiate with the California-based landlord of the property. Despite numerous overtures and attempts to find amicable resolution, Flying Squirrel was unable to secure reasonable accommodations to ensure the company could remain in business."

It looks like the two sides couldn't come to an agreement and Flying Squirrel took to social media to share the announcement we were all hoping they wouldn't have to make. It's a pretty major bummer, but COVID-19 has forced them to have to close the location.

You can visit the Facebook post above to see the complete message that was posted by the owners of Flying Squirrel. You can also add your thoughts in the comment section as so many others have. And while you're at it - you can voice your displeasure to the landlord. Who knows, maybe they'll happen to read through the comments and realize they're being quite the Ebenezer Scrooge to everybody in Missoula that was a fan of Flying Squirrel.

Complete statement from Flying Squirrel below:

PARK STATUS UPDATE - For the past 8 months, like many Montana businesses, Flying Squirrel Missoula has suffered significant financial strain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While these matters remained outside of our control, we engaged our landlord to attempt to create workable solutions to ensure our obligations were met. Unfortunately, our California-based landlord took an approach requiring us to pay full rent, even during our mandated closure period. This was non-negotiable. Unable to secure any sort of meaningful relief from the landlord, Flying Squirrel has been, despite our best efforts, forced to close. This is by far the hardest announcement to write. It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we will be permanently closing a location for the first time. It makes me sick thinking about all of the hard work the team and staff put into this location, only to see it close down due to factors completely outside of our control.

The Missoula location was the first park we placed in a smaller metropolitan area. It is outside of our typical median income and population level, but as natives of Hamilton, we wanted to bring our privately owned brand of fun to our backyard. It has been truly unfortunate that our landlord has been unwilling to work with us to ensure both parties could benefit. We own and operate Flying Squirrel locations across five countries. This is the only location in the world where our landlord was seemingly disinterested in ensuring we were able to carry on our business. Unlike Canada, the United States and State of Montana have not offered any type of meaningful relief to small businesses such as ours.

We wish all the best to the Missoula team who operated the location for the past few years and we wish the best of luck in their future endeavors. During the years of operation, we were able to give back to the community in both generous donations and sponsorships. At Flying Squirrel, we strive to support local businesses and pay it forward to the community. We are proud to say that we were able to make an impact in Missoula. While this is a setback, we hope to one day return to Missoula and offer the same high-flying fun that the community has come to expect from us.

We will always be transparent with our customers regarding the status of the company as we are in this together. We're sorry for the delay as this situation was difficult to navigate. We will be offering customer refunds for passes and gift cards that have not been redeemed or you can request to use them to redeem at our Spokane Washington location.

Please email Missoula@FlyingSquirrelSports.com with your information, a picture of the barcode on your pass, and a refund will be issued to you. Thank you Missoula for your support and the amazing memories during our years of operation!

Luke Schueler
Founder & COO
Flying Squirrel Sports

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