American Dream was forced to close in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite having no clear reopening date, Triple Five CEO Don Ghermezian says that American Dream will reopen when it is safe to do so.
Many malls in America have been able to reopen. However, given American Dream’s mixture of retail and entertainment, it is currently unable to reopen, NJ.com reports.
Focus on reopening safely
In April, Triple Five Group, the developers behind American Dream, announced that the mall will shift to 70% entertainment space and only 30% retail space. This emphasis on indoor entertainment locations, such as the Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park, means that the mall cannot reopen.
However, Triple Five CEO Don Ghermezian explained that “reopening American Dream safely and responsibly is our top priority. We have been working very closely with the Murphy administration, state and local agencies and our primary health care partner, Hackensack Meridian Health, to develop extensive health and safety plans for American Dream and each of our attractions.”
Outdoor amusement and water parks could reopen in the state on July 2, but Governor Phil Murphy has restricted the reopening of indoor entertainment venues. This is to avoid flare-ups “that we’re seeing in other states”, Murphy explained in a press briefing on June 24.
American Dream and state government working together to reopen
Murphy said in a statement that “members of my administration are working closely with American Dream’s senior leadership team, as well as state and local health officials, to enable their entertainment options to safely open as soon as possible.”
He continued, saying that “we continue to monitor overall health trends and hope to make an announcement about their entertainment openings at a future date.”
Ghermezian announced that American Dream will utilise many safety precautions seen by other business when it does reopen. These include controlled capacity and access, physical distancing efforts, hand sanitiser stations, enhanced cleaning and face masks for staff and visitors.
More than 1,400 workers have been furloughed during its closure. Since the mall postponed the opening of hundreds of tenants, Ghermezian explained that hiring has been halted for now.
Construction is carrying on, and retail tenants are continuing to stock and prepare for its reopening. Ghermezian emphasised that “American Dream is unwaveringly committed to this region, and we are incredibly excited about the upcoming re-opening and our future success.”
Mark Ghermezian, Co-CEO of American Dream, is just one of the speakers at the blooloop V-Expo, hosted by Merlin Entertainments. This new virtual conference and exhibition will take place from 13-15 October and is free to attend.