Earning new bills at Colorado Mills

A year after reopening, mall enjoys another Black Friday

Posted 12/4/18

Michelle Martinez remembers being one of the first Lakewood residents to walk through the hallways of the Colorado Mills Mall when it opened for the first time. She purchased her Christmas gifts from …

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Earning new bills at Colorado Mills

A year after reopening, mall enjoys another Black Friday

Posted

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story wrongly implied that Yard House had closed. It has not, and is operating next to Los Chingones.

Michelle Martinez remembers being one of the first Lakewood residents to walk through the hallways of the Colorado Mills Mall when it opened for the first time. She purchased her Christmas gifts from there and she and her husband would walk through the mall as a way to get exercise.

The mall, which first opened in 2002, took a giant blow when the 2017 May hail storm damaged its roof, flooded stores and caused thousands of its employees to be displaced. It was forced to close for six and a half months due to the damage from the storm, and it finally reopened on Black Friday of last year. Martinez says the mall is making its way back to what it was before the storm.

“I am here usually three times a month, and I’ve personally seen more foot traffic here. This place was a shell of what it was when it originally reopened, but it’s nice to see things starting to pick up again,” Martinez said.

She isn’t the only one who is starting to see the mall revitalize.

Brenda Cleary, the director of marketing and business development for Colorado Mills Mall, said the mall was busy on Black Friday, and mall officials are optimistic for a strong holiday shopping season. When it originally reopened, Colorado Mills Mall opened around 100 stores out of 160 retail spaces. It recently welcomed the opening of Coach, Sketchers and H&M, and the restaurant Los Chingones celebrated its grand opening recently. The restaurant is located next to Yard House.

“Immediately following the hailstorm, we received an outpouring of support from our team, partners and community. Retailers are once again offering a multitude of promotions and we are seeing a significant number of shopping bags, busy Santa set activity and full parking lots, which is always a good sign,” Cleary said.

Not everyone has been happy with the pace of the mall’s reopening though. Back in February, Bell Brand Branches, which runs the Dairy Queen/Orange Julius inside Colorado Mills, filed a lawsuit against Simon Property Group, the company which owns the mall, alleging that sales significantly dropped. The suit appears to be ongoing, and mall management declined to comment.

Cleary said the mall has opened an average of more than one store per week in the last 12 months. Also new is a log cabin Santa set for holiday shoppers with children. Mall management also hopes to host events like pet photo opportunities in the near future.

Larry Dorr, Lakewood’s finance director, previously told the Lakewood Sentinel that the mall closure cost the city around $300,000 to $500,000 a month in tax revenue.

“(Colorado Mills Mall) is one of our pride and joys out here. I think it’s doing very well and turning right along. It’s one of our most significant retail areas, and we’re building up the business right again,” said Robert Smith, the interim economic development director for Lakewood.

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