Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fun fact - Mall of America

[See previous]

I read an article last week that said that the Mall of America is the most popular tourist attraction in the United States. That really surprised me -- I thought it would be something like Disney World or the Statue of Liberty. But after doing some research, it would appear that the Mall of America definitely ranks in the top 3 of tourist attractions in the U.S.

What does a "top 3 tourist attraction" mean? According to Mall of America, there are about 42 million visitors each year that arrive at the mall. If you divide 42 million by 365, it works out to 115,000 people every day. That is a couple of football stadiums full of people arriving at the Mall every single day, which is pretty remarkable.

I have been to the Mall of America only once. I had a connecting flight in Minneapolis, but it was something like minus 50 degrees F outside and they had to close the airport. The hotel they put us in was across the street from the mall, so we took the Hotel's mall shuttle over and had dinner.

Even though it was lethally cold outside, inside the mall it was beautiful. The place is huge, with acres of retail space under glass (the amusement park in the center of the mall covers 7 acres all by itself). It was the first time I considered the fact that it might truly be possible to create complete cities under glass.

It also reminded me a little bit of the man-made Palm Island being built in the Middle East.

But if you start poking around, you realize that the Mall of America is actually a pipsqueek. For example, look at Latest great mall of China nearly ready for shoppers. According to the article: "The South China Mall -- a jumble of Disneyland and Las Vegas, a shoppers' version of paradise and hell all wrapped in one -- will be nearly three times the size of the massive Mall of America in Minnesota. It is part of yet another astonishing new consequence of the quarter-century-long economic boom here: the great malls of China."

If the Chinese already have us beat even in the category of malls, it is quite likely that China will become the world's next superpower very quickly. In 50 years, America may very well compare to China in the same way that Great Britain compares to the United States today.

So we must take up China's "mall challenge". What can we do? Perhaps we could start by putting something like the Las Vegas Strip under glass. Or we could begin building a new, completely enclosed city where the weather is perfect every day. We will definitely be competing with China in space -- a Space Race with China is inevitable. We may need to take the Mall Race just as seriously.

You are too cute, Marshall. Your blissful fantasies remind me of the space-age futures envisioned in the 50's where no one worked, cars powered by micro-nuclear reactors could fly, and dinner was just a simple, satisfying pill.
This article points in the same direction as the observations on China's Mall supremacy:

Toyota chief fears GM, Ford demise: "The outspoken chairman of Toyota Motor Corp. said on Wednesday he feared the possibility that U.S. policy could turn against Japanese auto makers if local giants such as GM and Ford were to collapse."
this article says that "China is the world's second-largest Internet market." It will be the first-largest shortly.
America becomes a nation of shopkeepers
That Palm Island looks like a stylised spouting oil well. National identity made naff resort.
Great work on your blog - it was very enlightening. You've got a lot of useful info on there about Las Vegas Strip so I've bookmarked your site so I don't lose it. I'm doing a lot of research on Las Vegas Strip Exposed and have just started a new blog - I'd really appreciate your comments
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