NEW YORK - Friday was a big day for many malls in New York and the people who patiently waited close to four months to shop inside them.
“Trying to social distance and make the purchases I need for my family,” said one shopper.
Doors opened at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City at 11 o’clock Friday morning. Shortened hours, along with other safety protocols in place including face masks, social distancing, and operating at half capacity. This week Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for malls to reopen in regions that have entered phase four if they install high-efficiency air filtration systems to help control the spread of coronavirus. Roosevelt Field Mall generates over $88 million in sales tax. And forty percent of the County’s revenue comes from sales tax this according to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“Just this mall alone employs more than 4000 people, multiply that across all the malls on Long Island and its a huge economic anchor,” Curran said. “It’s a revenue generator.”
It’s not the only mall ready to reopen. Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove and Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station are also opening on Friday along with Palisades Center in West Nyack.
“No matter how you may feel about the Palisades Mall some people are crazy about it, others love it but at the end of the day it’s positive and that’s what’s important,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
The dining district and other eateries inside the mall are still only open for takeout and will have to wait for the governor’s go-ahead for sit-down dining.