The Top 10 COMEBACK Retail Center Experiences: No. 8 Hill Country Galleria

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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Normally, this spot in our July-August issue presents the year’s Top 10 Retail Center Experiences, an all-star lineup of retail centers that over-achieve in adding merriment to the merchandise. But guest experiences have been few in this virus-plagued year, so Chain Store Age decided to shine a light on centers and retail real estate companies that are leading the way in creating safe, yet still-inviting experiences to draw crowds back to their properties. In this challenging time, our COMEBACK centers are re-engaging their visitors with society, not just retail. The editors of CSA's No. 8 pick is: 
This Invesco town center provided another great example of how colorful, expressive graphic art can recast stern government regulation into refined living.

“When the pandemic hit, we quickly called a staff meeting to brainstorm ideas of how the public would react and the feeling they would get. Health and wellness have been a big part of the Hill Country Galleria experience, and that’s what guided our COVID efforts,” said senior project manager Phillip St. Pierre.

Among them:
• Proper social distancing plans to safely maintain popular programs like Camp Gladiator and Fit 4 Mom;
• development of the hashtag #BeeStrongTogether and the hiring of a local artist to create playful and colorful health and wellness messaging;
• installation of 18 curbside pick-up locations on the main boulevard to welcome shoppers not yet ready for in-store experiences.

Hill Country Galleria, located in Bee Cave, Texas, converted its pre-booked Saturday Night Concert Series to a virtual event, and invited locals to picnic on the great lawn in marked- out, socially distanced spots.

“Our outdoor environment and generous public spaces proved to be the perfect setting for social distancing,” St. Pierre said.

Stay tuned for daily profiles of the next eight centers. Until then, catch up on what you missed:

No. 1 RIO
No. 2 Easton Town Center
No. 3 Halcyon
No. 4 Westfield Galleria at Roseville
No. 5 The Avenue East Cobb
No. 6 MainPlace
No. 7 Assembly Row