Brick-And-Mortar Malls Still Alive And Well In Las Vegas


Brent Holmes

If you have to go shopping in Las Vegas, you probably won’t be hard pressed to find somewhere to go.

Maybe it depends on what part of town you live in or what you specifically need, but chances are you won’t have to drive very far to find it.

Or, there’s the shop owner’s worst nightmare: The internet.

Some analysts predict that by the year 2035, as many as half of the nation’s 1,000 remaining shopping malls are expected to fail.

The picture seems grim for once-thriving shopping malls.

But throughout the recession and declines in business, Las Vegas shopping malls are still alive and kicking.

"The bazaar was here in 6000 BC and the bazaar will be here in 6000 AD," said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of General Growth Properties who joined KNPR to talk about the role of traditional shopping centers in a changing economy. 

Chicago-based retail giant General Growth Properties owns 128 retail properties throughout the nation, including Fashion Show, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian and Meadows Mall.

With such market saturation, some would say owning a shopping mall is a losing bet, but Mathrani doesn't buy it. 

"Online has been around for over 20 years, and before online it was catalogue sales and in between catalogue sales it was the Home Shopping Network," Mathrani explained. "The front cover of Time Magazine in 1998 said 'The Mall is Dead.'" 

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But Las Vegans know their malls aren't dead. In fact, the city is one of the few places in the country that hasn't seen any mall closures, despite no new malls in the entire United States having opened since 2006. 

"There's going to be evolution in any industry that you talk about," Mathrani said. "The question is, do you have the best real estate, which is location, location, location."

Many Las Vegans have seen the renovation Boulevard Mall has recently undergone, and with the opening of new shopping areas such as Downtown Summerlin, Mathrani addressed concerns over the future of Meadows Mall. 

"Since Summerlin opened, our initial fears were that the mall will be impacted, and Meadows Mall has actually reached anew peak of sales over its life. 

"We've evolved Meadows Mall to service the working people of Las Vegas."



Sandeep Mathrani, CEO, General Growth Properties 

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