Grand Opening For Mall at Turtle Creek

March 29, 2006--Posted at 4:00 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR--A lot of time and planning has gone into the construction of the Mall at Turtle Creek and Wednesday, that hard work finally paid off with the grand opening. Since the word came out a couple years ago that a new mall would be built in Jonesboro, shoppers have been marking their calendars for March 29th. Wednesday morning, retail junkies woke up to their Christmas morning.

"I jumped out of bed, I was already dressed. I dressed myself last night," said shopper Kassi Ogden.

Residents across Region 8 have planned for this day for weeks and thousands got an early start on their day.

"I got here at 4:30 probably," shopper Sequoyah McGuire.

Shoppers lined up before sunrise and before the ribbons were cut and the doors were opened, a line formed from the front door all the way to Chuck E. Cheese, filled with shoppers ready to spend money.

"We were expecting a large turnout out. This is a speechless crowd, we never imagined it would be this big," said mall general manager Jason Whitley.

With over 3100 parking spots at the Mall at Turtle Creek and every single one filled, that meant throughout the day there were 4,000-5,000 people shopping.

"I am excited! We usually drive to Memphis or Little Rock but now we don't have to, it is in our town," said Ogden.

"I think it is good because the other one was small and this one is much bigger with a lot more stores," said McGuire.

Shoppers took breaks from their busy schedules to make sure they were on hand for this major event.

"I didn't have a really good spring break because it was cold, so my mom told me I could skip school," said McGuire.

So instead of history, geography and math, students who played hooky got a lesson in supply and demand.

"I wanted to come here to check out all the cool stuff," said student Gage Briney.

The mall is expected to raise tax revenue for the area, add new jobs, and increase property value. But many feel it's impact is much larger.

"This event probably has taken Jonesboro up a couple steps forward. This area has needed this for a long time," said Whitley.

If you weren't one of the thousands who walked through the malls doors today don't worry. It is open till 9:00 weekday nights and will be a retail fixture in Region 8 for years to come.