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2023’s Top 10 Retail Experiences: No. 7 Westmoreland Mall

Chain Store Age picks physical retail’s most engaging centers
Al Urbanski
Westmoreland Mall’s seen a 50% increase in the number of visitor ZIP codes since the casino opened.

In 2022, this 45-year-old classic enclosed mall owned by longstanding classic enclosed mall operator CBL Properties saw customer traffic increase by 15% above pre-pandemic levels. Some of those visitors, in fact, drove distances of more than 200 miles to get to Westmoreland Mall. How did CBL hit this traffic jackpot?

It filled its vacated, 100,000-sq.-ft. Bon Ton department store anchor with a Live! Casino operated by The Cordish Companies.

There are other retail center-based casinos in the United States, but Westmoreland’s is the only one that opens into the mall. (CBL itself also has a Hollywood Casino at York Galleria Mall in Pennsylvania.)

“We’ve seen a 50% increase in the number of zip codes of our visitors. The most significant increase has been the number of people traveling 30 or more miles to the property,” said CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz.

“And it’s not just the casino that draws. There’s a bar entertainment base with Sports & Social and a FanDuel sportsbook, and there are three new restaurants.” Lebovitz continued. “We’ve completed a dead space that now can attract parties and weddings.”

The entertainment draw of Live! Casino has been so impactful that CBL felt no need to perform any renovations in the mall itself. Cordish renovated the parking deck.

Over the past year, CBL has made deals with new tenants that will open more than 230,000 sq. ft. of entertainment options across its 90-property mall and open-air portfolio. Tilt will occupy nearly 50,000 sq. ft at Dakota Square in North Dakota, Stars and Strikes will fill the former Dick’s Sporting Goods space at Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach, and Main Event has signed a 38,000-sq.-ft. lease at Cross Creek Mall in South Carolina.

“The demand for entertainment is strong,” said Lebovitz, “and a casino gives the shopper a bigger experience and reason to come to a property than just about any other entertainment concept. We’re really pleased how this worked out.”

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