Tomorrow marks opening day for Tsawwassen Mills

Tomorrow is opening day for Tsawwassen Mills.

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Following a ceremony by members of the Tsawwassen First Nation, the mall will officially open at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

A throng of eager shoppers is expected to descend on the 1.2-million-square-foot shopping centre, which has been intensely advertising incentives to lure those looking for deals.

Located just off Highway 17 at 52nd Street, the mall will open with 180 stores, including 16 anchor tenants, but will eventually have 200 retailers.

Tsawwassen Mills is mostly a fashion-oriented centre but also has a wide range of other merchants, including its biggest tenant, Bass Pro Shops.

Featuring Coast Salish artwork throughout, as well as outdoor rain gardens described as being on the leading edge of civil construction, the mall’s retail makeup will be 50 per cent “pure outlet,” about 15 per cent termed as a “hybrid” mix of outlet and standard retail, with the rest traditional retail. The mall also has an 1,100-seat food hall in addition to three full-service restaurants with another restaurant, which hasn’t been named yet, to come later.

It’s estimated about 18 to 20 per cent of customers will come from outside the trade area, including tourists and shoppers from other parts of the province.

Featuring contests, entertainment and giveaways, the grand opening celebration goes until Oct. 10. Marketing director Christina Shier told the Optimist the six-day celebration will have plenty of incentives.

“With some of the promotions on opening day, we have a lot of stuff to really excite people. One of the key things that we’re doing is the door crasher promotions, so the first 1,000 people on opening day lining up at our Entrance 2 will receive a $50 gift card. Throughout the six-day celebration we’ll be hosting a ton of contests and giveaways and our main contest will be $10,000 shopping spree giveaway, so we invite people to come, sign up and enter for their chance to win.”

It remains to be seen if the 6,000 stalls in the parking lot will be enough for opening day, which is expected to clog local roads with traffic.

The mall is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily except Sunday, when it closes at 7 p.m.

The $600-million Ivanhoé Cambridge project sits next door to Tsawwassen Commons, a 550,000-square-foot outdoor shopping centre that’s still under construction. The two shopping centres will have almost the same combined footprint as Metrotown in Burnaby.

Check the Optimist’s website at Wednesday for updates on the grand opening.

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