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Pizza Hut

This Oct. 5, 2010 file photo shows the front of a Pizza Hut restaurant in Los Angeles.

TWIN FALLS — Pizza aficionados in Twin Falls may have been crestfallen after learning this month that Papa John's has shut down — possibly for good.

The pizza franchise on Blue Lakes Boulevard North reached the end of its lease at the end of March, said building owner Jim Paxton, who founded Snake River Pool & Spa next door. The spa business has needed to expand for years, he said, and has already begun demolition work to use that building for a 1,500 square-foot addition.

"They've been a tenant of mine for over 16 years, and they were a great tenant," Paxton said, noting Papa John's departure was amicable.

The pizza franchise owners also operate other stores in Idaho, he said, but chose not to reopen in another location in Twin Falls. The companies had known about the upcoming expiration since the fall, Paxton said.

Snake River Pool & Spa will celebrate 40 years in Twin Falls and plans to open the addition by June 1, with more customer service and display space.

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In the meantime, building permits issued last month also revealed a Pizza Hut being constructed at a development south of Walmart off of Cheney Drive West. The city has other Pizza Huts on Blue Lakes Boulevard and on Addison Avenue.

Likely, the developer sees an opportunity with the proximity of this store to Canyon Ridge High School. A Burger King has already opened in the same development, and there are plans to soon open a Beans & Brews Coffeehouse and a Kneaders Bakery. The Pizza Hut is planned to go into the same three-tenant building as the coffee shop.

A plat for the development also showed another Costa Vida may come in the second phase. Multiple calls to the developer were not returned.

The Pizza Hut won't be the only Italian-American cuisine to come into Twin Falls in recent months: Blaze Pizza opened in December at Canyon Park West. An Olive Garden, meanwhile is being constructed at the Magic Valley Mall.

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