The tourist attraction will enforce social distancing and increase sanitation efforts.
In a statement Thursday, Mall of America announced its plans to partially reopen on June 1. The shopping destination relayed the "promising news" as the state of Minnesota moves to slowly reopen the economy in the flux of the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.
Retail spaces will be able to open their doors to the public this upcoming Monday, May 18, after Governor Tim Walz ceased upholding the state's stay-at-home order on May 13. The shopping destination, which houses over 500 restaurants and retailers, has been closed since March 17. According to the mall, not all stores will immediately resume business.
Since its shuttering two months ago, the mall has been working to ensure proper safety measures are met to keep visitors and employees safe. Among the steps taken is direct signage to control the flow of foot traffic, increased cleaning and sanitation, specialized business hours, and reduced capacity to 50-percent. Dining areas will remain closed to the public, but restaurants can continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery services.
We're excited to announce our retail stores will reopen with limited hours beginning June 1. Our restaurants + attractions will remain closed at this time. We look forward to seeing you again! For more info, visit https://t.co/8J1fICtwzJ pic.twitter.com/1rmgedQQjL— Mall of America (@mallofamerica) May 14, 2020
As one of the country's largest tourist destinations, Mall of America draws over 40 million visitors annually as a Midwestern mecca of shopping, food, and entertainment. The mall notes that "reopening a building the size of Mall of America is no small task," but they are "confident taking the necessary time to reopen will help us create the safest environment possible."
COVID-19 has hit the retail industry hard, and its impact can be found in the mass of store closures—Recent casualties include J. Crew and Sweet Tomatoes, who've permanently gone out of business. According to Coresight Research, as many as 15,000 stores could close permanently by the year's end as businesses struggle to make up dwindling revenue. Mall of America boasts 175 small businesses, and those closures could mark a huge blow to the local economy.
Hours of operation, updates, and more can be found at the Mall of America's website.
What do you think of this decision? Have you ever been to Mall of America, and if so, what did you think? Sound off in the comment section!