COVID Crossing

Nebraska Crossing Outlets to be reopening in the near future


Courtesy of 6 News

The mall’s employee’s returned on the 24th only as a “soft-opening.” Some stores will potentially begin reopening for customers on the 1st of May.

Paige Fortney, Staff Reporter

Recently, the owner of Nebraska Crossing Outlets has been contemplating reopening the mall in the midst of a pandemic.

This past week owner, Rod Yates, talked to Governor Pete Ricketts about the whole situation and his thoughts. Yates told all general managers of the mall’s 80 stores that he planned a “soft opening” for the stores that would like to go back into business on April 24th. A “soft opening” as it’s described would allow just the store’s employees to return to get the businesses up and ready for the actual reopening. 

Many are not so sure about the idea of reopening a large area to the public during this time. Laura Redoutey, president of the Nebraska Hospital Association, said “reopening the shopping center at this time could nullify our efforts to put a clamp on the virus in Nebraska.” While Nebraska is not under an actual “lock down” order, we are still encouraged to limit shopping, large gatherings and to stay at home as much as possible. Although it would just be the employees returning to the stores, it is still a large amount of people together in a smaller environment.

According to Lincoln Journal Star, Ricketts announced “I have not asked anyone to close. We are asking Nebraskans to exercise their personal responsibility.” Even if Nebraska Outlets does reopen, it will still take a few weeks for everything to get back to normal and readjust. With this “soft opening” and having employees return, it would still be up to businesses  if they wanted to risk going back. 

Before this week I don’t think I would’ve thought that reopening this was an excellent idea, but now that it has been said that multiple businesses will be opening the week of May 4th, I find it more reasonable. There will still be limitations to the reopening, and customers will still not be allowed to shop until a few weeks or until more details are shared. I personally still don’t think it’s the best idea and needs to wait another week or two, but Yates is giving each store the choice to reopen, so it’s all down to whether the managers agree or not.

Yates has put in efforts to keep the mall clean and safe and The Omaha-World Herald has said that the mall purchased “100 infrared non-contact instant read-thermometers – One for each store – the employees will check their temperature upon arrivals for shifts. Store managers could decide whether to offer the thermometer to customers before they enter the store.” It was also noted that the mall 200 shield guards to be installed at cash registers to be put between customers and employees.

Yates also told New York Times “If you’re feeling good and you’re feeling healthy and you’ve got a little pent-up demand, we’re going to create a really, really safe environment for you.” The mall and owner himself are doing a lot in their power to make this reopening very socially safe and to keep a clean environment. 

This is just the beginning of trying to get back to a normal life, and we’re all figuring it out one step at a time. It’s going to get very difficult and controversial in the beginning, but I think once society starts to go back to normal, everyone will start to see eye to eye.