Miracle Mile Businesses Upbeat, Busy despite Tumultuous 2017

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STOCKTON -- Business owners along Stockton's Miracle Mile are still cheery has the holiday shopping season is well underway, even if 2017 has not been the most kind.

"We are focusing on all the positive we are doing. There’s always going to be things in the background here, there or wherever," Pawtastic owner Debbie Freitas said.

In June, nine businesses were forced out of the Empire Theatre building after city officials claimed the property was a fire danger.

A month later, Mimi Nguyen -- then director of the Miracle Mile Improvement District -- was accused of stealing about $40,000 from her now former employer. And now, a Miracle Mile Improvement District spokesperson says they aren't sure if they will be around past the new year.

Despite these obstacles, many shop owners in the are say they're keeping things in perspective. They want to be positive for 2018. So far, business has been solid through the setbacks.

"We’ve been really busy for the holiday season. This is our biggest time of the year for us right now," Garden Flair partner Jeff Gibson said.

For many, the Miracle Mile isn't just where you shop, it's where memories and friendships are made.

"We want the community to know that we’re here, we’re not going anywhere," Frietas said. "We’ve been here for 95 years."

Even though the board is uncertain of what will happen next, they say they are actively working to secure its future.