Shopping for Holiday Gifts Easier than Shopping for a Parking Spot

November 22, 2006--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR--The holiday shopping season officially kicks off this weekend with the biggest spending day of the year..."Black Friday."

The Mall at Turtle Creek has 3,166 parking spots, but it may not be enough to accommodate all of the shoppers searching for the big sales.

"Just the past month, we've noticed that the traffic counts have already surpassed that we saw and have experienced in April, which was the honeymoon season for us after opening. So if that trend continues, with the retail statistics, it's going to be a phenomenal year," said Mall at Turtle Creek General Manager Jason Whitley.

Stadium Boulevard and Highland Drive in Jonesboro is one of the busiest intersections in Region 8. It's also the home of the Mall at Turtle Creek.

And as shoppers ready for Black Friday, mall officials and the Jonesboro police force are bracing themselves too.

"We'll have on-site security. We're working now trying to iron out some last minute details with the Jonesboro Police Department and the reserve units to help with the traffic control inside the parking lot, as well as our major intersections feeding the facility," said Whitley.

"There will be off-duty officers working in the parking lot early that morning at Turtle Creek, helping with parking, traffic directions and things that other shoppers may need assistance with. As far as the street areas, officers will be in their surrounding areas should the need more assistance," said Lt. Roy Coleman of the Jonesboro Police Department.

With more than 100 stores and over 3,100 parking spots...the Mall at Turtle Creek is a paradise for any Region 8 shopper, but finding a parking spot maybe easier said then done.

"If for some reason, we are monitoring the situation throughout the day and turnover is not as fast as we'd like to see it, we have a vacant lot across the street that we intend on funneling traffic to as an overflow as kind of an emergency backup and of course we will work with authorities trying to get traffic to and from the property from there," said Whitley.

"If the operators, the drivers of the vehicles follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signals and be considerate and cautious, I think everything will be fine," said Coleman.

JC Penney will be the first store to open Friday at 5 a.m. Target will open its' doors at 6:00 and the Mall at Turtle Creek will officially open at 7:00 a.m.