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Biggest Mall Estimates More Than a Million Visitors

August 19, 1992

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) _ More than a million shoppers and fun-seekers paraded through the Mall of America during the first week it was open, mall officials estimated.

″It’s exceeded our expectations, both in the numbers of people and the length of time that they’re staying,″ said John Wheeler, general manager of the nation’s largest shopping and entertainment complex.

Marketing surveys show visitors spending an average of four hours at the mall, about one-third longer than expected, Wheeler said Tuesday.

During the first week, about 720,000 mall maps were distributed, 19,000 pounds of chicken sold at Camp Snoopy, the mall’s amusement park, and 24,000 people dropped off by buses. The mall opened Aug. 11.

Anita Blackford, director of the retail sales department, said stores have estimated about 40 percent of their sales have been to shoppers from outside the Twin Cities area.

Saturday, with an estimated 200,000 visitors, was the mall’s top single day. Daily attendance is averaging 150,000.

The mall’s tourism department is receiving about 2,000 inquiries a week from potential tourists.

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