ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Open for business, yet still fairly empty.
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“The foot traffic in the mall is definitely not what I was expecting,” said Francisco Medina, co-owner of Playlive Nation.
Malls owned by Simon Property Group, which locally includes Tyrone Square and Tampa Premium Outlets, officially opened their doors Monday after more than six weeks of being closed.
Spectrum Bay News 9 executive producer Nathanael Paul stopped by Tyrone on Monday for some shopping, and was surprised to see most stores still shuttered up.
One that wasn’t, though, is Playlive Nation.
“We’re a social gaming lounge. So we’re built around social connection, so this has been a change and we’ve had to adapt. That’s the way life is, you have to adapt,” said Jennie Perry, co-owner of Playlive Nation.
They’ve cleaned every inch of their store, removed tables to enforce social distancing, and even put up added hand sanitizing stations.
“We’re doing everything possible to eliminate the danger and follow the CDC guidelines. We want you to come out and have social interaction but do it safely,” said Perry.
That’s the goal for the entire mall.
Simon Properties plans to add extra hand sanitizing stations and cleaning efforts to high-traffic areas throughout the mall.
They are also making masks and disinfecting wipes available to shoppers.
Those same measures will be put in place at Westfield malls, which locally includes Countryside, Brandon, and Citrus Park, when they reopen next Friday.
“We don’t want you to be sick but we don’t want you to be afraid to get back out there,” said Perry.
As far as when the rest of the stores will decide to reopen, that’s up to each individual company.
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