Preparations continue for the upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration for the Sault’s Station Mall.
There’s excitement among mall merchants as they reflect and celebrate the mall’s history that dovetails with increased optimism about the future of the city’s largest mall, which opened in 1973.
Rodger Rosset, co-owner of Savoy’s Jewellers and member of the Station Mall’s Board of Directors, says he cannot believe it’s been 50 years. His store has been a fixture for 41 of them. “Time has flown by very quickly,” says Rosset.
Added buzz stems from the August announcement by the Straton-Hunter Group of its plans to spend $60 million to revitalize the two levels of the former Sears store – closed since 2017 – and add a sports bar at the west end of the mall.
“That completely changes the attitude down here,” says Rosset.”I think people are more optimistic now and have something to look forward to. Now that Covid is behind us, we’re looking forward to some better years. Retail in the general…I see a lot of stores expanding. There’s been a lot of interest in Station Mall and I think that our future is bright.”
Kathryn Forest, manager at Laura Secord, another longtime tenant, calls the celebration plans “amazing” noting it shines a bright a bright and positive light on the mall. “I hope that it brings in a little more traffic volume with (new merchants) coming in,” adds Forest.
To mark the milestone, Station Mall has hosted a magic show, the Paw Patrol, and a Free Movie Day. The latter event helped bring in more than 800 non-perishable for items for the local food bank.
“That was good. We were quite happy to partner with them,” says Jesús Beltran, Marketing Coordinator, Station Mall.
This Friday, the Sault Ste. Marie Museum will be setting up several displays and “Afterclass”, part of the Northland Barbershop Chorus, will perform at 5 p.m. at the mall’s centre court. The anniversary celebration, complete with a large cake, begins Saturday, Oct. 14, at 11:30 a.m.
Magician Ryan McFarling will perform as will local entertainer Tim Murphy. There will also be a performance by the cast of Sault Theatre’s Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. Mayor Matthew Shoemaker and other dignitaries will address attendees. Saturday winds up with a grand prize draw. One of fifty pre-qualified contestants will win a $5,000 vacation. Ten gift cards will also be awarded at random. Beltran says everybody is welcome to participate in the weekly pre-qualifying draws right up up until Friday, Oct. 13. “That’s the last day that people can potentially qualify for the Grand Prize draw,” he says.
Patrons looking to enter the contest can stop by the Station Mall Guest Services kiosk near the mall’s food court to fill out a ballot. Entries are limited to one ballot, per person, per week.