Heard shopping malls are dying? Here’s our 2016 Review of Ontario Mills shopping center in Ontario, CA
In an age when malls across the nation are dying a slow death thanks in large part to the rise of e-commerce, Ontario Mills continues to thrive. Since opening in 1996, Ontario Mills has become one of the primary tourist attractions in the Inland Empire (a rarity among shopping malls) and shows no signs of fading into the past. So what’s so special about Ontario Mills? How is this Southern California mall able to consistently buck national retail trends?
Originally built and managed by the Mills Corporation, in 2007 Ontario Mills was acquired by Simon Property Group. Over the years the company, which is the largest commercial real estate holding corporation in the United States, has invested in significant improvements that have helped the mall solidify its position as the area’s premier shopping destination. These changes have not only helped the mall maintain a steady stream of shoppers but has also contributed to its ability to attract and retain a full slate of retail tenants.
What’s the secret to Ontario Mills’s success? As you will see, there are a number of factors which contribut
Ontario Mills Food Court
e to the malls popularity, from the sheer number of its retail tenants and food options to its shopper-friendly layout and location. When taken together, these unique advantages offer shopping mall’s across the globe a clear blueprint for winning the war against time. Here are few huge reasons shoppers from around the world continue to flock to Ontario Mills.
1. Over 200 stores
Ontario Mills is one of the nation’s largest indoor shopping malls, boasting over 1,470,000 square feet of retail space. It also enjoys the distinction of having the largest number of outlet retail locations of any mall in California. Major labels such as Abercrombie & Finch, Calvin Klein, Guess?, Hugo Boss and Saks 5th Avenue maintain stores at the mall. Visitors can shop at over 200 retail locations that run the gamut from electronics to jewelry. Outlet stores are known for offering name brand merchandise that doesn’t come with the traditional astronomical price tag attached. When you’re searching for a bargain in the Inland Empire, Ontario Mills should be your first stop.
2. Huge food court
Shoppers can quickly work up an appetite checking out everything Ontario Mills has to offer. The mall’s enormous food court offers a wide range of choices to suit almost any taste, from burgers and pizza to stir fry and seafood. With seating for up to 1,000 people, finding a table is seldom a problem. If it’s been a few years since you grabbed a bite at the food court, you might be shocked by how much things have changed. In 2011, many of the malls eateries closed which precipitated rumors that the food court itself was being phased out. Fortunately, it turned out to be a case of addition by subtraction. The public later learned that the closings were in advance of a major renovation that was completed in 2012. The project improved lighting, seating and the overall layout of the food court. New vendors, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chicken Connection, Charley’s Grilled Subs and Haagen Daz, quickly moved in to fill the vacancies .
3. Racetrack design
Despite its incredible size, you’ll never get lost in this mall thanks to a design feature that brings you right back to where you started. Taking a cue from a departed local landmark (Ontario Motor Speedway was once located across from the property where the mall now stands), Ontario Mills has a racetrack layout. Walkways form a figure eight with stores conveniently located both inside and outside the “track”. This configuration makes it easier for shoppers to navigate the enormous space which increases sales and makes the overall experience more enjoyable. The mall is also one level (in fact, it is the largest single level mall in the western United States) which makes a day of shopping less grueling compared to malls that are comprised of multiple levels. Keeping both tenants and shoppers happy is crucial in the age of internet commerce. Ontario Mills was built to meet these challenges.
Best entertainment in Ontario California – AMC Theatres
Shopping isn’t everybody’s idea of fun. With that in mind, Ontario Mills offers a number of entertainment options to keep bored spouses, tired grandparents and hyperactive children occupied. AMC Theatres, the second-largest movie theater group in the U.S, features over thirty movie screens at its mall location. The Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Cub tickles the funny bones of shoppers with its combination of established stand-up stars and new talent performing at the club seven days a week. Arcades have been a cornerstone of shopping malls almost since the beginning and Ontario Mills continues this tradition with GameWorks, which offers a family-friendly combination of food and games. When you have gotten your fill of shopping, there is still plenty to do at Ontario Mills.
5. Location, location, location
When it comes to shopping malls, being a well-kept secret is the kiss of death. Oftentimes shifting populations and changing demographics are to blame for the demise of once popular malls. Ontario Mills sits on prime real estate. Located near one of the largest airports in the U.S, Ontario International Airport, it is one of the first landmarks tourists encounter when flying into the Inland Empire. The mall also sits near the interchange between Interstate 15 and Interstate 10 which provides easy access and high visibility. Even if you aren’t planning a shopping excursion, it’s difficult to pass this one of a kind mall without being at least tempted to stop. Ontario Mills also partners with neighboring hotels on special “shop and stay” packages that offer visitors discounted rates and shopping rewards. Convenience is one of the main considerations for today’s consumers. Ontario Mills unbeatable location makes it a natural destination for both local and out of town shoppers.
With its impressive line-up of retail tenants and the family fun opportunities available at every turn, Ontario Mills is well poised to retain its position as one of the Inland Empire’s must-see attractions. This is one shopping mall that isn’t doomed to the dustbin of retail history.