[ti:America’s Second Largest Mall Opens in New Jersey]
[00:00.04]The second-largest mall in America has opened its doors in the state of New Jersey.
[00:09.24]The mall, called American Dream, has been in development for more than 20 years.
[00:17.84]The $5-billion project has more than 450 different stores and places to eat.
[00:26.76]The mall also has major park rides, an indoor ski hill and water slides.
[00:36.04]American Dream is the second-largest U.S. mall after the Mall of America,
[00:43.03]which is in the Midwestern state of Minnesota.
[00:48.32]American Dream will open in stages over several months.
[00:54.60]The first part of the mall to open, on October 25, was the Nickelodeon Universe park.
[01:03.72]The park contains more than 35 rides and other activities, says the mall's website.
[01:12.96]The DreamWorks water park is set to open on November 27.
[01:19.36]Next to open will be the ski hill, which is described as "North America's only indoor real-snow park."
[01:30.60]The mall's massive collection of stores is set to open in March 2020.
[01:38.32]When plans for the American Dream mall first started,
[01:42.93]physical stores were more important for most Americans.
[01:48.44]Malls were a good place to buy many different items in one space.
[01:56.72]But the rise in internet shopping has led to financial struggles for many malls in the United States.
[02:06.80]Economic experts are wondering whether the new American Dream mall
[02:12.31]will draw enough people to be a financial success.
[02:17.92]A 2017 report from Switzerland-based banker Credit Suisse estimated
[02:25.54]that up to 25 percent of American malls will close by 2022.
[02:33.28]The report says such closures would be the result of the increasing popularity of internet shopping
[02:41.93]and several major store closings in recent years.
[02:47.68]Officials from American Dream say they expect to draw 40 million visitors during the first year.
[02:56.68]They are hoping that being just 16 kilometers from New York City's Manhattan area
[03:03.54]will help bring in people from the city to spend money.
[03:08.96]"You can make it your backyard playground if you live in Manhattan or even if you're in New Jersey,"
[03:16.67]Ken Downing, an official with the mall's developer, told The Associated Press.
[03:24.28]"It's a staycation. So, it's a little bit of competing with mindset and emotion,
[03:31.98]far more than a property, or even Disneyland."
[03:37.52]But some economic experts are not sure whether American Dream will be successful in the long run.
[03:46.92]Jason Goldberg, an officer with marketing company Publicis Communications,
[03:53.32]told the AP, "This development will either sink or swim."
[03:59.92]He added, "It's going to be tough to get a lot of attention
[04:04.16]when you are next to a much bigger amusement park - Manhattan."
[04:10.12]I'm Bryan Lynn.