The Park Meadows mall is gearing up for its busiest time of year.
Holiday spending is expected to increase 4.9% from last year — a total of $832.3 billion spent nationwide during the holiday season, according to a survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Pam Kelly, general manager of Park Meadows, presented the projections in an October meeting that included Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet.
Park Meadows is the state's largest indoor shopping mall, located at 8401 Park Meadows Center Drive. The mall has more than 200 retail outlets and 14 full-service restaurants.
The Park Meadows shopping district, beginning south of County Line Road, can create nightmarish traffic jams and packed parking lots. Regular mall-goers know how to work around the crowds, but even the most seasoned shopper can be frustrated by long lines seemingly everywhere.
Kelly offered some tips on beating the crowd at Park Meadows.
Shopping early is the best way to beat the worst crowds. From Dec. 13-21 and on Dec. 23, the mall will be open an hour early, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“Park Meadows has some of the best stores in the marketplace and we are excited for the upcoming holiday season and all that our stores will be offering,” Kelly said.
Kelly recommended parking in the northeast parking lot between Dillard's and JCPenney for the best chance to find a quick spot. The right turn into the mall from County Line Road is closed off for the holidays to improve the flow of traffic, which often leaves the parking lot more overlooked than the others. Take Yosemite Street north into the mall and follow the loop to get to the northeast parking lot.
The Fogo de Chao steakhouse has one of the best views in Lone Tree of the south metro skyline, which will be twinkling with a variety of Christmas lights come nightfall. Ask for a table on either level on the restaurants west side, nearest Park Meadows Center Drive.
Kelly said she wants to make the Vistas at Park Meadows a holiday destination like the Denver Zoo Lights or Denver Botanic Gardens.
Shoppers with kids can take advantage of a new bounce house that is open at the Vistas as well.
The Vistas will be decked out with Christmas lights throughout the season. There's no charge to simply park and walk around the outer restaurant section of the mall.
"Park Meadows has millions of lights not unlike paid destinations such as Zoo Lights or Botanical Gardens," Kelly said. "The lights are interior and exterior, as well as all the restaurants, stores and activities make it a wonderful destination."
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