By Gwen Clayton
Mireya Velazquez walks around Colorado Mills on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving with her hands full of packages. Helping her with equally loaded arms are her mother and three children.
“We wanted to see the stores,” Velazquez said. “I wanted to buy some things before I go home to Mexico.”
The young mother and her family were visiting Denver from Durango – not the Colorado city, but the place south of the United States border.
Velazquez was one of hundreds of shoppers to attend the grand re-opening of the Colorado Mills shopping mall in Lakewood on Nov. 21. The site had closed this past May after a hail storm damaged the roof and inventory. Many of the stores were waiting for Black Friday on Nov. 24 to open – and some will not re-open until 2018 – but the dozens of stores that did greet shoppers on opening day welcomed the life flowing through the halls.
“We’ve had great traffic,” said Mike Manning, assistant manager for U.S. Polo Association. His store reaped the benefits of its heavy social media and email campaigns announcing the reopening and offering special deals. “A lot of people were curious to see. Everybody’s buying.”
In a press release dated Nov. 6, The Mills President Gregg Goodman said, “We are grateful for our community’s patience, thankful to all the men and women who have labored tirelessly to get us to this point, and look forward to the balance of the tenants reopening in the next several months.”
The release claimed Colorado Mills is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the state. Prior to the May 8 hail storm, it was home 119 stores and eateries, such as J. Crew Factory, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Victoria’s Secret and Yard House. Six retailers with exterior entrances to Colorado Mills opened earlier this fall, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Super Target and United Artists Theatres & IMAX.
The common areas of Colorado Mills still have some construction left to be done, but construction firm, The Beck Group, plans to have all work completed by early 2018. Colorado Mills is owned by Simon Property Group. The company has premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and is an S&P 100 company.
Colorado Mills is located at 14500 W. Colfax Ave., in Lakewood. For more information on store openings and hiring opportunities, visit www.coloradomills.com, or on social media at @ColoradoMills.