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In Duluth, big demand for 'pop-up' free retail space

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Duluth is getting an enthusiastic response to its offer of free rent at a handful of downtown storefronts for the holiday season.

The Greater Downtown Council began offering six retail spaces rent-free starting Nov. 1st for short-term, or "pop-up" stores. Council President Kristi Stokes says they received over two dozen applicants in the first 24 hours. 

"This has been overwhelming, I didn't expect the phone to be ringing off the hook," she said. People have approached her with a mix of ideas, from selling arts-related merchandise, to clothing, to food. 

"It's just a fun way for us to be able to activate some storefronts, provide some energy, and allow some businesses to maybe give our market a test run as well," she said.

Property owners will provide the space rent free for two to three months, but the businesses will have to pay utilities. Stokes hopes to select the winners on Monday.