Nov. 2, 2005 Sometimes there is nothing better than relaxing in the comfort of your home and popping a newly released movie into your DVD player. No baby sitter worries; no noisy theatregoers; no shirt, no shoes, no problem "mon."
A lot of people are opting for in-home entertainment rather than going to the movies to see the latest releases. First-time entrepreneurs Miguel Cruz and Alex Betancourt are cashing in on that market by providing the public with a large selection of movies and video games at Planet Video, located on Centerline Road east of the Campo Rico intersection.
The video store opened in November 2004 with about 1,500 selections.
"Now we have about 4,000," Cruz said. "About two weeks ago we doubled the size of the store," Cruz said in a recent interview.
The videos are supplied by the Ingram Co., which is the same company that Blockbuster uses, according to Cruz.
Cruz, 40 and Betancourt, 33, met while working at the Frito Lay Co.. For Cruz, owning his own business is the realization of a lifetime dream.
"My goal always was to open a movie theater in the west, because I was born in the west," Cruz said.
The movie theater idea has not materialized yet, but the video rentals provide a steady stream of customers for the young businessmen.
Cruz said he and his partner did their own research on the profitability of a video business. Planet Video is presently the western-most video store on the island. Cruz said he and his partner use their own capital to finance the businesses instead of getting bank loans.
"It's a risk," Cruz said about investing in a business. "But you have to take the risk."
Cruz is also clear about what it takes to run a successful business.
He said that as soon as a customer opens the door they have to be impressed with the look of the establishment and then they have to be treated in a professional manner.
"Good service is hard to find," Cruz said.
In addition to a broad range of DVD movies, Planet Video offers the latest in video games. They also clean and repair scratched games.
Planet Video will soon be the place to trade your old games for new ones, too. Cruz said customers would soon be able to bring in the games they are tired of and get a credit toward a new PS2, Xbox or Game Cube game.
For more experienced gamers, Planet Video will again be offering video game tournaments, played on big screen televisions in front of the store.
"We used the hottest game and give prizes of games stations or cash," Cruz said.
So the next time you are heading west and thinking about a good movie and a relaxing evening, stop by Planet Video. They are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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