Attention shoppers! The world’s largest mall is being built in Miami and it’s a retail paradise. The 138-acre mega-complex will be larger than Vatican City and is double the size of America’s next largest mall, the King of Prussia Mall in Montgomery, Pensylvania.
Not really into shopping? No problem! Half of this mall will be devoted to entertainment. I’m not talking about adding in a movie theatre, though there will surely be one of those, too. I mean there will also be a water park, skating rink, ski hill, theme park, driving range, submarine lake, and an 18-hole mini-putt course.
The idea here is to get people into the mall for some leisure or entertainment activities, and while they are there, they can pick up whatever items they need to buy. Waterpark swimmers and mini-putt golfers will also have to pass several retail stores enticing them inside to check out the latest fashions and wares.
The people behind this mall, which is being called the American Dream, are hoping the concept will buck the recent growing trend toward online shopping. After all, other malls which focus solely on retail are seeing their number of visitors dwindle, and big box stores are closing out.
Just in the last few years, big brands that would usually anchor a mall, such as Toys ‘R’ Us, K-Mart, Sears, and Target Canada have closed dozens of stores or disappeared completely. Online versions of stores, Amazon, and trendy sites like Etsy are taking a big bite out of brick and mortar retail sales.
Personally, I enjoy a day out to go shopping. I like to see what I’m buying, feel the quality and texture of fabrics, and try on clothing to find the perfect fit. However, a recent visit to my own local mall showed that I’m clearly in the minority.
Many of the stores have closed out and the hallways are no longer cluttered with fellow shoppers but are more likely to have a couple dozen mall-walkers just simply seeking an airconditioned space to beat the summer heat.
Yet there seems to be no better way to cool off during a long hot summer than a dip in a pool, which the American Dream mall will have. So perhaps their plan will work out. It seems to have worked for Canada’s West Edmonton Mall, which was previously the largest mall in the Americas.
Check out the video below for a full report of what this amazing place will have to offer:
It, too, has a water park, ice rink, rollercoaster, and other similar entertaining attractions. Visitors to this mall boast its one-stop shopping as very convenient and also claim it is an excellent place to bring the whole family.
I can’t argue with that since the kids could play at the water park while mom does a bit of shopping and dad tries out the driving range. Plus, if you’re traveling from away, there is even a hotel on site.
Surely the Triple Five Group, which is behind the American Dream mall is expecting visitors from away since they estimate an average of 30 million people would be dropping in each year to try out what the group is calling a “lifestyle center”.
The Tripple Five Group will get a chance to test out a smaller version of their American Dream “lifestyle center” concept at their similar mall in New York, which is set to open next year.
This mall will still be 69 acres in size and boasts a climbing wall, along with North America’s first indoor ski and snowboard park. It will also have an observation wheel, rivaling the famous London Eye, a regulation-sized skating rink, and a 35,000 square foot aquarium
It sounds amazing, so what could go wrong? Well, while Miami’s American Dream mall will be the largest in North America, the world’s largest mall is in Dongguan, China. It’s called the New China Mall, is 6.46 million square feet, and is nearly entirely empty.
It’s dubbed the world’s largest ghost mall and despite also having a rollercoaster and seven internationally themed zones complete with replicas of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe and a Venetian canal with gondolas, there are no customers.
The mall has had trouble finding retailers and, aside from a handful of American fast food chains that operate near the mall’s entrance, the rest of the retail space is vacant. So perhaps entertainment alone won’t get shoppers to the mall.
Here’s hoping Miami’s American Dream doesn’t get crushed. The development group still has a few more permits to obtain before construction can begin, but until then we’ve got the smaller New York version to look forward to.
With mega-malls like these, perhaps we’ll see a return to the 1980s mall culture when teenagers would hang around foodcourts after school and pop music idols actually had tours inside retail centers on temporary stages set up between The Gap and Old Navy.
Of course, these malls likely have actual concert venues. But back then we could grab a Slurpy, catch the latest radio sensation, and even buy a new jean jacket at the same time. Looks like now we can add in a quick swim and a snowboard session too. Let’s go to the mall! Anyone?