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Gaming Guru

Chris Jones
 

Mandalay Lists Tenant Lineup for Retail Mall

10 September 2003

LAS VEGAS -- It won't be the first hotel-casino operator to open a major shopping mall on the Strip, but Mandalay Resort Group has taken a somewhat unconventional course in developing its new Mandalay Place retail center.

Located on a 310-foot-long skybridge spanning a street that divides Mandalay Bay from Luxor, the 100,000-square-foot mall won't include themed elements. No singing gondoliers, faux Roman streetscapes or Arabian-themed dancers.

Instead, Mandalay Place simply hopes to return shoppers' focus to shopping.

"The retailers are going to be the stars of Mandalay Place," said Gordon Absher, Mandalay Bay spokesman.

On Tuesday, Mandalay Resort for the first time released names of several tenants within the 41-store center, which is scheduled to open sometime in October. They include the world's first Nike Golf store and the domestic debut of Samantha Chang, an upscale women's clothier, Absher said.

Italy's Fornarina also plans to open its second U.S. flagship store at Mandalay Place, accompanying Dutch children's and women's clothier Oilily.

Other announced tenants include Sauvage, a women's swimwear boutique; Urban Outfitters, which caters to the college crowd, and GF Ferre, which also features youth-based fashions. The center is fully leased, Absher added, with more tenants to be announced soon.

The company declined to provide the project's cost or estimated visitor traffic, but Absher said Mandalay Place expects to report a $750 sales-per-square-foot average during its first year. The national average was $330 last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Lisa Callahan, vice president with the real estate brokerage CB Richard Ellis, said the center's early tenant mix should distinguish Mandalay Place from existing local malls.

"It looks like they're going to avoid (same tenant) overlap, and that will make this a destination for casino patrons and locals," Callahan said.

Mandalay Place's size pales in comparison with the Forum Shops at Caesars (currently 510,000 square feet with a 175,000-square-foot expansion under way), The Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes (500,000), Desert Passage at the Aladdin (475,000) and the Fashion Show mall (will reach 1.9 million square feet by spring 2004). Still, Mandalay Resort officials believe their center's proximity to several of the world's largest hotels, as well as the newly expanded Mandalay Bay Convention Center, will provide retailers with plenty of customers.

In a statement, Mandalay Resort Group President and Chief Financial Officer Glenn Schaeffer described the center as the "next logical step in our company's evolution." He added its stores and restaurants will appeal to leisure visitors staying at Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay, and lure business travelers attending events at Mandalay Bay's convention center.

"The annual number of visitors to Las Vegas is approaching 40 million, with more and more of them considering a retail environment as an integral part of their entertainment experience," Schaeffer said. "Our resorts have yet to offer a destination retail site. Mandalay Place will be a natural extension."