With 40 million annual visitors, the Mall of America receives more visitors than all other attractions in the state of Minnesota combined (and nearly 10 times more than Minnesota's second biggest attraction). Big enough to hold 7 Yankee Stadiums, 32 Boeing 747s and 258 Statues of Liberty, with numbers like that, it’s safe to say that the Land of 10,000 Lakes likes it’s indoor pursuits just as much as the great outdoors.
Originally conceptualized in 1982 after both professional Minnesota baseball and football teams relocated their stadiums, 78 acres of highly accessible real estate was prime for the taking. Located just a mile and a half from the Minneapolis St. Paul international Airport, tourists from Canada, England, Sweden, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Latin America, France, and around the world flock to Mall of America to take in the sights of America’s greatest commercial paradise.
Attractions Beyond Shopping
With amusement parks, theaters, and performances, galore, the Mall of America is as much a Minnesota event venue as it is a shopping destination. Kids will love Barbie’s Dreamhouse Experience, LEGO Land, the American Girl Place, the Minnesota Aquarium, and Nickelodeon Universe, the nation's largest indoor theme park. But don’t fret, there’s plenty to keep the adults busy, as well, with A.C.E.S. Flight Simulators, the House of Comedy, Star Trek, the Exhibition, and CSI, the Experience, being main draws for the older crowd. Every day, hundreds of people use the Mall as a place to exercise and socialize as thousands have registered for the MOA Mall Stars walking club. With one length of the first floor covering just less than .6 of a mile, it’s cheaper than the gym (when would you ever hear that about shopping?).
A Shopper’s Paradise
Retail therapy in all its glory, with over 500 stores, whether you’re a frugalista or a label whore, there’s something to satisfy every shopping persona at MOA. Be warned though, the mall does get a bit claustrophobic so know where the exit is if you need to come up for air (or want to take a break to appreciate Minnesota’s real draw: their outdoor recreation). But with no state sales tax, everything is a great buy. Just make sure you know your airline luggage restrictions before going too nuts.
The Biggest…Is Getting Even Bigger
Mall of America plans to add up to 5.6 million more square feet of retail, hotel and entertainment options to their already swelling space. Expansion will consist of a multi-level complex that will connect to the existing Mall on all four levels, aiming to attract a more high-end clientele that is projected to bring 20 million more visitors a year, essentially doubling their state economic impact.
Can you imagine spending Black Friday there?