WOW. I had a media pass as a ParentMap staffer to go to the grand opening of Westfield Southcenter this morning and it was quite the experience. There were hoards of people when I arrived at 9am, I heard some people had started lining up at 6am for the freebies (scratch cards worth $25 to certain stores, free movies for a year at the new AMC for the first 100 people dressed up as their favorite movie character, etc).
There were some famous-ish people there like Robert Verdi although I will admit I didn't know who he was until someone standing next to me told me (okay, so I still don't know who he is, but lots of people were asking for his autograph so hey, he must be famous in some circles!) . Pat Cashman was the MC, Governor Gregoire and the Mayor of Tukwila both gave little speeches. It all felt very important!
They stressed how wonderful it was for the area to have such a huge mall (and we're talking the biggest indoor mall in the states of Washington and Oregon!) in terms of the economy and the 5300 people employed there. Makes me proud to be a South-ender.
And then the swarms began swarming in when the doors were opened at 10am.
I must digress, though, and add that thanks to my media pass my two kids and I were given a quick private tour before all the hoopla actually began. The hoards were standing around outside while we got escorted straight in, that was cool (for us, not for the hoards). When we walked in my 6 1/2 year old son immediately said "It smells like parsley in here." (never did figure that one out) while my first reaction was "WOW. This is Southcenter?!" It honestly blew me away. It's absolutely beautiful and there are a ton of stores I've never heard of before (like Pink by Victoria's Secret) as well as stores I only hoped would someday come to my neighborhood (like H&M). Way cool.
My overall reaction was that the mall looks really beautiful and impressive, I guess the $240MILLION was well spent. You have got to check it out for yourself! And when you go, let me know if you can figure out the parsley comment...