Stagecoach closure means gift cards become worthless souvenirs

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A well-known Treasure Valley restaurant is closing its doors, leaving some people with gift cards they won't be able to use.

A line started forming outside the Stagecoach Inn an hour before the restaurant opened Saturday afternoon for the final time.

Jamie Crabtree is stuck with a $50 gift card that was meant for a family meal at their favorite restaurant.

Crabtree said her daughter bought several gift cards as Christmas gifts for the family.

"I don't understand... if they're filing bankruptcy and they knew they were going out of business, why they continued to sell the gift cards," said Charlie Crabtree, Jamie's husband. "They're just ripping people off, in my opinion."

"It was not our intention to rip people off," said Jennifer Fraser, the owner of the Stagecoach. "That's not the idea. I mean, that's not how you should run a business, ever.

"They announced a year ago that they were facing bankruptcy problems and they had maybe a year to get a solution to get things back into order," said Robb Hicken with the Better Business Bureau. "Maybe that's a tip that a gift card might not be the best way to support the business."

Fraser said at this point, her hands are tied.

"I would love to be able to just turn around and give it all back, but I'm not allowed to right now," she said.

Fraser said she's keeping a list of contact information for everyone who has unused gift cards but isn't sure if they'll be able to get their money back. The Better Business Bureau said people who have the gift cards are pretty much last in line to get their money back in bankruptcy court.

The Crabtree family said they'll hope for the best.

"We'll keep it and it'll be worth $50 forever," Jamie said. "Maybe Stagecoach will open again someday, I hope."