For me, the Foothills Fashion Mall, long the largest and most popular shopping center in the region, peaked 10 years ago when the animatronic dinosaurs set up for a week. I think it was October, and every family in town went. Some of us made 5 or 6 trips.
I can’t do that now. The dinosaurs are long gone. So are half the stores. And, my son is living by a strict code for teenagers that forbids him to go shopping with his mom.
Some people say the mall is dead. Our own FC government says it is a “menace to public health, safety, and welfare (pdf).” But there are still some lights on.
The unpopulated picture above looks toward Sears, on a Thursday afternoon. The last of the open stores rally around it.
Thing is, the appliance guys down there are hungry. I mean famished. And besides, they don’t carry my Levi’s 515s anymore. Mind if we go the other way?
This is the fountain. The centerpiece of your mall experience. See those half walls? Those went up in the 1990s when a parent complained in the newspaper that any kid could walk right in and drown like a penny. That was an issue back when we used to exercise our toddlers along these halls in Winter.
This was Pennys. Now it’s GlowGolf, harbinger of Dollar Stores. In the foreground, steps to a stage area where school children delivered many a recital.
This sign appears throughout the mall. It’s part of Marketing’s “We Give Up” campaign.
Still, you have to credit someone for the Mervyn’s Puppet Theater vision.
Candy Barn ….
All right, all right. I’m sorry. The people who keep the mall are working against horrible odds. Only two years ago, hope remained that the mall would see expansion and renewal. For a while, it even seemed Fort Collins would get an escalator!
But then the parent company (General Growth Properties) filed bankruptcy, more businesses fled or failed, and it’s anybody’s guess what happens next.
In those circumstances, our crippled mall remains remarkably clean, safe, and well lit. Clearly, somebody’s still trying.