Mallstalgia: when bigger is better
This article is part of a series by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine to celebrate 30th anniversary of MOA. Join us as we go through some of our favorite memories from the past 30 years.
Over the past 30 years, Mall of America has generated some pretty impressive statistics to help tell the story of its history. From square footage to gallons of water, join us as we count some of the things that make MOA what it is today: more than the sum of its parts.
$650 million. Cost to build it. When the mall first opened its doors 30 years ago, it made headlines as a revolutionary new concept. An amusement park, in a shopping center? What also warranted rotation in the news cycle was the cost of building it. Construction began in June 1989, and the mall opened on August 11, 1992.
500. Stores. It’s 500 places to browse, browse, browse and shop until you really drop. If you spent 10 minutes inside each store, it would take you about 83 hours to complete your purchases. Clear your calendar and consider it a challenge.
10,000. The employees who work in this huge building. MOA has held steady as a major contributor of jobs to the Twin Cities for decades. Even when it opened in 1992, 10,000 employees called the mall their workplace. Now, during peak season, there are up to 12,000 cheerful workers ready to help you navigate your holiday shopping adventures.
18. It took months to build the mall’s aquarium. Originally known as Underwater World, the aquarium opened in 1996. Now known as SEA LIFE, the 1.3 million gallon facility is home to thousands of friendly creatures and sea creatures. We suggest you stop off to meet Seemore, the rescued green turtle with its weighted “backpack” shell.
1.4 million. Gallons of water saved. MOA always strives to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Currently, there are over 275 water-efficient toilets that save over one million gallons of water each year.
103. The number of White Houses that could fit inside the Mall of America. It’s just a fancy way of saying that the mall is 5.6 million square feet. Which means 347 Statues of Liberty could let freedom ring out from inside the mall.
32,000. Tons of recycled waste. Mother Nature is certainly proud of this green giant. MOA recycles more than 60% of its waste. It also recycles more than 2,400 tons of food waste at a local pig farm each year and converts grease from restaurant fryers into enough fuel for a 53-foot tractor-trailer to travel five times from New York to Los Angeles. .
70. Degrees inside. It’s always a cool, calm and comfortable temperature inside the mall, allowing its famous walkers a tropical paradise, even during the winter months. MOA’s temperature is maintained year-round with passive solar power from 1.2 miles of skylights and heat generated from lighting, store fixtures, and body heat.
30,000. Plants that inhabit Mall of America. And they’re not just for aesthetic purposes. With 400 live trees, these green additions act as natural air purifiers.
seven. Acres from the Nickelodeon universe. It’s a theme park. In a mall. Enough said.
12,750. Parking spaces. You won’t have to go around the grounds for long. The Mall has two parking ramps, as well as several surface lots.
555. Also known as the Triple Five Group, owners of the mall. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the company won the tender to develop available space in Bloomington in 1986 and has always been a big proponent of massive retail complexes. Triple Five Group also owns the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, making it the operator of the two largest malls in North America.
40 million. Annual visitors. To call it a popular destination would be an understatement. This beloved attraction attracts more people than the populations of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Montana, Wyoming…and Canada combined.
10,000. I do (x2). Thousands of love stories have started at the Mall of America, so it’s no surprise that it’s also a popular wedding destination. The Chapel of Love has hosted small weddings, dream weddings, unique themed weddings and vow renewals. And media-worthy wedding ceremonies have taken place in the Rotunda, on the Pepsi Orange Streak, on the Ferris Wheel, and even in the Aquarium’s shark tank.
12 millions. Dollars raised each year for charitable causes. The mall hosts countless rides, events, concerts and fundraisers – it’s a big place with an even bigger heart. Each year, community partners raise approximately $25,000 a day in cash, products and in-kind.
$2 billion. Economic impact – yes, that’s with a B. The Mall of America generates almost as much economic activity for the state of Minnesota. Color us, impressed. And grateful.
104. The age of the oldest guest to ever fly on the mall’s FlyOver attraction.