After 20 years, what do you think of the Mall of America?

The Mall of America, which turns 20 this year, has been in the news lately due to disruptive young people and the impending loss of Bloomingdale’s, one of its original anchor tenants. Today’s Question: After 20 years, what do you think of the Mall of America?

  • Alison

    I avoid it if at all possible. There is a background din that gives me a headache within an hour or two.

  • Audrey F.

    Darn it, Allison, that’s what I was going to say.

    Too much of everything; it’s crass.

  • Audrey F.

    Darn it, Allison, that’s what I was going to say.

    Too much of everything; it’s crass.

  • Hiram

    That it’s located in Bloomington on the site of the former Metropolitan Stadium.

  • Steve the Scenic

    Americans will come to the rescue by doing what they do best, that is to borrow and consume.

  • Jill Dalton

    Blatant consumerism at its worst. I shop at re-use stores whenever possible.

  • Emery

    The MOA mission statement is to be a destination shopping experience. I am curious how that will work while the trend in retail appears to be leaning towards online purchases and away from the so-called big-box retailers. Long term, the MOA will have to continually reinvent itself to stay relevant in the market place.

  • Lou

    It was the vision of Rudy Perpich that created the mall. It was supposed to be an economic bonanza for the region to have an internationally recognized icon in the community but the luster has been lost over the years. The security issues that came to light last week can only have a negative impact on the perceived shopping experience at the mall. The success of the MOA has come at the expense of other malls in the area such as Southdale which no doubt have lost tenants due to competition from the MOA.

  • Hiram

    The Mall of America? Isn’t that where the Vikings lose football games?

  • GaryF

    I first thought it was a bad idea. Just who was going to actually go to this mall?

    The place has a high percentage of out of town’rs, out of state’rs, and out of country’rs as it’s customers. It’s still a big attraction.

    I don’t shop there. Except maybe for Sears hand tools and shoes for big feet at Nordstroms.

    And with the new outbreak of feral youth, I probably will go there even less.

  • Steve the Cynic

    At first I thought it was a bad idea. Since then I’ve become convinced that it’s actually a horrible idea. It’s a temple of consumerism, dedicated to spreading the lie that stuff will make you happy.

  • Chuck

    We like it. We go there 3 – 4 times a year. Lot’s of choices and some very good places to eat. Our relatives come from Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina d Oklahoma and Oregon occassionally and they like to shop there as well.

  • Steve the Scenic

    Right on Steve, it’s not as if we live in Cuba.

  • Mark G

    I took my then-11-year-old niece from Iowa to the MOA on its opening day, and we were totally overwhelmed by the mobs of people! There were so many people, there was no place to sit down, there were long lines for every attraction and crowds waiting at every cash register (which were operated by inexperienced staff, which made the wait time even longer…..) All of this meant that it some quite some time before I made a return visit, which was a whole lot more peaceful. Naturally, my niece loved the whole experience, and even today, she is a frequent visitor. But she tells me that nothing will ever compare to her very first visit. Talk about your red-letter dates in history!

  • Peter

    A great boom to the economy. Those complaining about consumerism should acknowledge the huge number of jobs created by the mall. What’s consumerism to you is food and rent for someone else.

  • Littia

    Wes Jackson once dubbed it the Temple to Material Consumption. I remember the first time I went there, I was a little afraid I’d be sucked into its giant maw and be forever changed. Instead, it was strangely benign, mild and unthreatening, pleasant enough, lulling almost. So I was not seduced, and my visits since have been about once every 5 years. But the numbing effect of material consumerism rolls on. Our culture equates consumption with meaning, and we will blow up mountains, rip down forests, drill miles into the sea bed and earth to procure more of the magical stuff that has given us the lifestyle we have. Yet it is unsatisfying. It does not nourish us. I hope we might begin to awaken, to begin to move toward sustainable ways of life including sharing and working together to surround ourselves with well crafted, beautiful, useful, long lasting stuff; in other words, to live simply. The MIA is a giant symbol of America: Well meaning, perhaps, but so misguided.

  • Littia

    Uh oh, I meant MOA, no MIA!

  • Regnar James

    It has no gun store, thus it has no appeal to me.

    DTOM

  • http://bobtusecommentary.blogspot.com/ Bob MacNeal

    Zygi should buy it, raise it, and build a Vikings stadium (with his own money of course).

  • Regnar James

    It has no gun store, thus it has no appeal to me.

    DTOM

  • DCM

    I’ve been there twice in those twenty years. That was one time too many.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “What’s consumerism to you is food and rent for someone else.”

    Sad, isn’t it, that so much of our economy is based on selling people stuff that doesn’t actually help them live better.

  • bob

    MOA as a shopping concept or consumer destination has never meant much to me or my family. The amusement park is the only reason we ever go there.

  • kennedy

    I think the MOA obstructs visitors from experiencing the Twin Cities. When a tourist asks what they should see, the most common response I hear is “The Mall of America”. There is so much more: the clubs and music in downtown Minneapolis, the cathedral and state capital buildings in Saint Paul, pick a restaurant in eclectic uptown, a river boat cruise, the quaint shops in Stillwater, city parks and lakes with walking/bike trails, various sports events, Winter Carnival, Aquatennial…

  • Peter

    “Sad, isn’t it, that so much of our economy is based on selling people stuff that doesn’t actually help them live better.”

    Maybe, but that’s not the point. The point is that buying stuff provided someone with income that will actually help them live better. Besides, if you buy little Timmy some Legos from Lego Land, doesn’t that expose him to the concepts of engineering and help him live better?

  • Dan

    The Mall needs more plants, especially Cannabis ones.

  • Bruce

    It’s still open!

  • John P II

    I’ve been the designated driver to the Apple Store a few times, and it was always in and out. I have no personal desire to go the MoA, but it does seem like the perfect place for groups of young people to socialize and get some exercise. I can’t relate to shopping in general anymore.

  • Rheaah

    “The point is that buying stuff provided someone with income that will actually help them live better. Besides, if you buy little Timmy some Legos from Lego Land, doesn’t that expose him to the concepts of engineering and help him live better?

    Posted by Peter ”

    and so is stepping onto thin ice. The thin ice is a free lesson in science and engineering.

    Bulldoze the mall and make it into a large scale community garden for the lower income of Bloomington and Richfield.

  • Sara

    Twenty years ago I lived in south Minneapolis, and it was the closest mall to my house, so I went there frequently. Now, two decades and three cities later, I am back in the Twin Cities, but I would have to pass at least three malls to reach the MOA. Now that it is a “fer piece” away I only go there so my kids can visit the LEGO store.

  • Anna123

    I like the MOA. It is my preferred spot for recreational shopping. I think shopping for some people is like watching sports for other people. Honestly, do we NEED a mecca of consumerism and materialism? No–in fact, I kind of despise myself when I go there and shop. But you know what, we don’t NEED the Vikings either…

  • Ron

    As a retailing center, MoA appears to do what it does quite well, judging by crowds.

    We are there a couple of times a year, typically in the winter. My young daughter likes the amusement rides and this is a nice option in the winter months. Rarely is shopping part of the plan, so we usually leave without purchasing anything. But we are not retailers’ target market – shopping is not entertaining or exciting or an event for us; we do only when we must.

    But for those who like shopping, I can understand where MoA would be very appealing.

  • Peter

    “and so is stepping onto thin ice. The thin ice is a free lesson in science and engineering.

    Bulldoze the mall and make it into a large scale community garden for the lower income of Bloomington and Richfield.

    Posted by Rheaah”

    So the plan is to get rid of the mall, creating thousands of unemployed and lower income, which will be okay because they’ll have free veggies?

  • Steve the Cynic

    True, not everything available at MOA is pointless stuff, but how many folks shop there for their practical, utilitarian needs? The attraction isn’t the work jeans, screwdrivers or groceries. It’s the designer labels, the latest gizmos, the specialty foods, and other upscale, status-symbol merchandise, together with the fact that there’s so much of it in one place.

    That said, I have to admit that consumerism isn’t all bad. As long as it’s mainly an affliction of the rich, conusmerism is a useful, market-based tool for spreading the wealth to the other 99%. It’s when people of more modest means spend themselves into bankruptcy buying trendy things, or teenagers feel they have to have the latest fashions in order to impress their friends, that it’s a problem. Most folks would be better off if they would learn to be content with enough.

  • Bear

    For those who rail against “consumerism”, and point to the MOA as the High Shrine of Consumerism, do some research. This thesis, and it is a thesis which has never been validated, was coined by the anti capitalist and suspected Marxist economist, Thorstein Veblem. He promoted state ownership of industry, which is a core communist principle. He was an eccentric, convoluted whack job. He has since been discredited because other economist found he “invented” many of the primitive societies with which he supported his thesis. Much of his writings are incoherent ramblings.

    Consumerism’s core thesis is that it is indulgent to buy more than is needed to meet basic needs. Who defines basic needs? I am sure you don’t have to have that computer you are using right now to sustain yourself. Buying stuff is not bad; it drives a lot of good in our world. Coveting material possession for status is more the issue. The right term then is “materialism” and the term “consumerism” should be ditched along with its discredited inventor.

    The MOA in its self has many positives and like all things many negatives. On the plus side, it brings economic growth and jobs to the Twin Cities. To call it a symbol of “materialism” is putting the blame on the wrong entity.

  • Rheaah

    and anotherr thing Peter-

    If you intend to be admitted into the School of Architecture and write as part of your essay that as a child you were infatuated with legos, they will suggest you go into business retail.

    I suggest we reuse the currently abandoned shopping maills and strip malls for homeless shelters.

  • GaryF

    Yes he can mention Legos if he plans on going into the School of Architecture. There is a national program called “First Lego” , which is a feeder program for the high school “First Robotics” that gets kids interested in STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Most grade schools and high schools have these programs.

    Admittance people at colleges now will be looking for First Lego students as they apply for architecture schools.

  • Dawn Pauls

    I tell our out-of state visitors to avoid the Mall of America.. it is an embarrassing shrine to the worst aspect of American culture… senseless consumerism, over-indulgence and utter disregard to the millions of children in the world who do not have enough to eat, clean water to drink or a toilet.

  • Rheaah

    Admittance people at colleges now will be looking for First Lego students as they apply for architecture schools.

    Posted by GaryF | January 5, 2012 3:00 PM

    right.

    Schools to avoid.

    I would think students with interest in reuse as in creative rehab for large useless retail spaces would be far more attractive than an applicant with the story that goes something like…I was always attracted to building blocks, especially Legos, they seemed to cause my legs to melt like candle wax under hot hot heat. Yah Advanced Leego School sounds great.

  • Steve on the North Shore

    I prefer the name “Mall of Gomorra” and avoid the place.

  • david

    I’ve only been to the place a hand full of times, and never on my own volition. But the current Radisson hotel addition is keeping a contractor I sub for very busy, which is in turn keeping me very busy. I guess it can’t be all bad. It’ll stave off unemployment a little while longer.

  • James

    Every time I go there, I am pleasantly suprised by how well maintained it is and by the high occupancy rates. And then I proceed to not go there again for a couple of years.

    I’m glad it’s in the Twin Cities. It drives a lot of traffic through MSP airport, helping to keep our airport relevant. And it attracts tons of visitors from within driving range too, with all the resulting economic benefits.

    Sometimes I wonder if many of the people who post to this feature and/or listen to MPR shoudn’t just move to a new country. If anything defines the US it capitalism and consumerism and it is NEVER going to change.

  • Steve the Scenic

    From my view it’s been a successful venture on a number of levels. Jobs for taxpayers, a tax base for Bloomington. Retail sales that help generate sales taxes for the state. That in turn contribute to state programs that benefit those that look to health and human services for assistance. Win for the consumer and the less fortunate among us.

  • Ann

    I went there about 5 times during the many years that I lived close to the mall. What percentage of Minnesotans actually go there?

  • Steve the Cynic

    “This thesis…. was coined by the anti capitalist and suspected Marxist economist….”

    So, are we to understand that he hasn’t actually been convicted of Marxism? In any case, the source of an idea being disreputable doesn’t necessarily make the idea bad. Does the fact that Hitler made the trains run on time mean that on-time trains are a bad thing? Regardless of who coined the term, consumerism is an apt name for the seeking of happiness through buying, possessing and using stuff.

  • Rheaah

    “If anything defines the US it capitalism and consumerism and it is NEVER going to change.

    Posted by James | January 5, 2012 4:58 PM ”

    Good thinking, our country is in great shape

  • Steve the Scenic

    Just pointing out Steve’s version of Plato’s Cave.

    “Look at what I want you to look at.”

    Even a blind squirrel finds acorns.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Non-sequiturs will get you nowhere, Steve, or Rich, or whatever your name is. Plato’s cave? Blind squirrels in search of acorns? What do those have to do with anything? Maybe you’re referring to all those poor, misguided folks looking for solace in their miserable lives by shopping for things they don’t need at MoA and finding only ephemeral shadows of the happiness they seek?

  • Steve the Scenic

    Let’s just say that your use of Nazi imagery to deflect and redirect the conversation is at best a high school debate tactic. Let facts and data set the agenda. Unless your goal is to make you case in such a way that is strikingly similar to the way Newt Gingrich uses “facts” while he debates.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Reductio ad absurdum is a valid way to point out logical fallacies.

  • JasonB

    It’s lasted about 18 years longer than I thought it would. I never anticipated that people would flock to the MOA from far away lands like they were on a pilgrimage. Maybe shopping is a religion.

    When I think of all that the mall has to offer I think of George Carlin’s great bit about “stuff”. That’s all consumerism is about – having more stuff.