The second-largest mall in America has opened its doors in the state of New Jersey.
The mall, called American Dream, has been in development for more than 20 years. The $5-billion project has more than 450 different stores and places to eat. The mall also has major park rides, an indoor ski hill and water slides.
American Dream is the second-largest U.S. mall after the Mall of America, which is in the Midwestern state of Minnesota.
American Dream will open in stages over several months. The first part of the mall to open, on October 25, was the Nickelodeon Universe park. The park contains more than 35 rides and other activities, says the mall’s website.
The DreamWorks water park is set to open on November 27. Next to open will be the ski hill, which is described as “North America’s only indoor real-snow park.”
The mall’s massive collection of stores is set to open in March 2020.
When plans for the American Dream mall first started, physical stores were more important for most Americans. Malls were a good place to buy many different items in one space.
But the rise in internet shopping has led to financial struggles for many malls in the United States.
Economic experts are wondering whether the new American Dream mall will draw enough people to be a financial success.
A 2017 report from Switzerland-based banker Credit Suisse estimated that up to 25 percent of American malls will close by 2022. The report says such closures would be the result of the increasing popularity of internet shopping and several major store closings in recent years.
Officials from American Dream say they expect to draw 40 million visitors during the first year. They are hoping that being just 16 kilometers from New York City’s Manhattan area will help bring in people from the city to spend money.
“You can make it your backyard playground if you live in Manhattan or even if you’re in New Jersey,” Ken Downing, an official with the mall’s developer, told The Associated Press. “It’s a staycation. So, it’s a little bit of competing with mindset and emotion, far more than a property, or even Disneyland.”
But some economic experts are not sure whether American Dream will be successful in the long run.
Jason Goldberg, an officer with marketing company Publicis Communications, told the AP, “This development will either sink or swim.” He added, “It’s going to be tough to get a lot of attention when you are next to a much bigger amusement park - Manhattan.”
I’m Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English, with additional information from the American Dream website. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in This Story
mall – n. large, covered shopping area
skiing – n. sport involving moving over show wearing skis
stage – n. a period of development
backyard – n. an area around where a person lives
staycation – n. a holiday that someone spends in their own country or at home
(in the) long run – phr. at a time in the future
tough – adj. difficult
amusement park – n. a large area with rides, shows and other activities