Crowds flock to Chicago-area’s newest outlet mall on opening day

The first new indoor mall in the Chicago area in 20 years, The Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, opened with grandeur today as thousands of shoppers flooded the massive complex looking for great deals on high end brands.

130 stores and a huge food court now occupy more than half a million square feet of shopping space. Some people waiting in line for quite a while to visit into some of the most popular retailers.

Traffic surrounding the new mall was backed up in just about every direction today, starting on the Kennedy then spilling onto river road where it took a good 30 minutes to get to the parking lot.

To encourage people to check out the new mall, the village of Rosemont is picking up the tolls at the Balmoral exit off the Tri State through 8 p.m. Sunday.

They’re still working out a few kinks in the foot traffic as pedestrians were at the mercy of traffic cops to get from the massive parking lots into the mall.  But overall  there were good reviews today from shoppers.

Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens says the mall has brought 2000 new jobs to the area  and is expected to generate 25 million dollars a year in sales tax for Illinois, with about 6 million a year going to Rosemont.

The village is hoping the mall will become a major tourist destination and attract shoppers from O’Hare Airport who have lengthy layovers.

Today, shoppers traveled from all over the Chicago area to attend today’s big opening.

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