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The Boulevard Mall evolves with Las Vegas and changing shopping habits

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The Boulevard mall caters to the changing demographics along Maryland Parkway, one of the most diverse areas in Southern Nevada.

The Boulevard Mall has catered to an evolving Las Vegas since the shopping center opened in the 1960s.

Nevada’s first enclosed mall began life as a major retail center on the southeast corner of a small but growing city. Today it serves the diverse communities along Maryland Parkway, in the middle of a metropolitan area of more than 2.2 million people.

The mall’s top executive says being nimble has allowed the mall to adapt in an environment that has been unforgiving to many brick-and-mortar retailers.

“We were very successful in moving very quickly on replacing our anchor stores as we saw them becoming more and more irrelevant,” said Timo Kuusela, vice president and asset manager for the mall’s owners, Boulevard Ventures. “So where we had Macy's, we have the Western headquarters for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield now.”

That need to adapt is also reflected in the mall’s offerings, which aim to attract shoppers from the growing Hispanic neighborhoods on the east side.

“We've really geared up our focus on Latino-oriented businesses,” he said, mentioning a new marketplace area inspired by those found in Latin America.

“Architecturally, it's very authentic, feels like you're walking through the streets of Mexico,” Kuusela said. “We have a food court with 12 restaurants that are very authentic to Mexican and South American type cuisine.”

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He credits the mall’s neighborhood perspective for allowing it to survive in constantly changing Las Vegas.

“We're locally owned and operated, so when we see a trend or something new that we can grasp onto, we go for it right away,” Kuusela said. “By being aggressive and being right there on the pulse, I think we've kept it going.”

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Timo Kuusela, vice president and asset manager, Boulevard Ventures

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