The American Dream mall is back in business.
Nearly seven months since it closed its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, the East Rutherford, N.J.-located mega retail and entertainment complex has reopened to the public.
“Over the past months, our amazing ‘Dream Makers’ collaborated across all departments and looked at many ways to adapt American Dream to the new normal,” co-CEO Mark Ghermezian wrote in a letter shared to the mall’s website. “We focused on doing this right, not quickly, to ensure the safety of our guests and ‘Dream Makers’ alike.”
He added, “All our hard work has paid off, and we are beyond happy to reopen our doors. We look forward to seeing you and your families fill these colorful spaces once more.”
Visitors to the shopping center will be able to buy tickets to attractions including the NHL-sized The Rink, as well as the Nickelodeon Universe, DreamWorks Water Park, Out of This World Blacklight Mini Golf attractions. (The Big Snow indoor skiing and snowboarding park had reopened in early September following Gov. Phil Murphy announcement that indoor amusement centers could reopen as soon as Sept. 1.)
What’s more, businesses such as fast-fashion giant Zara, department store Primark, specialty brand Aritzia and lifestyle retailer American Eagle are among those welcoming in customers at the property for the first time.
The American Dream mall said it has put government-recommended health and safety protocols in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently, face masks are required for entry into the complex, which has reduced capacities for each of its attractions, as well as increased sanitizing and disinfecting frequency in common areas. Hand sanitizer stations and hygiene reminders have been installed inside the mall, and guests are advised to socially distance themselves, with the aid of plexiglass barriers, ground markings, touchless options and more.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak swept the United States, the American Dream had encountered a combination of setbacks, including financial challenges and litigation, that halted its opening to the public. The $5 billion mall — which had been two decades in the making — was scheduled for a grand opening in March with the debuts of various stores to be staggered across several weeks or months. All of those plans were upended when the pandemic started taking hold in the U.S. in March.