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August 27, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Container Park proving to be major draw downtown

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Corlene Byrd

Downtown’s Container Park celebrates its grand opening Thursday, December 5.

Container Park Opening

A look at the downtown Container Park on 7th Street and Fremont Street, which had its soft opening today, Monday Nov. 25, 2013. Launch slideshow »

With two months of operations under its belt, the Container Park outdoor mall on Fremont Street is doing better than expected, Downtown Project spokespeople say.

Since opening in late November, some 225,000 people have been counted passing through its front gates, said Michael Downs, Downtown Project executive vice president of operations.

Another Project spokesman acknowledged that a handful of businesses are not faring so well. Container Park leases, he added, run between two months and five years, with the shorter leases part of the operational plan to continually bring in new types of businesses.

Several business owners who work in the park every day say they are mostly happy about their business.

“I do more business here in one day than a whole week in our other store,” said Barry Troller, co-owner of The Sweet Spot Candy Shop. The other store is at 616 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

Among others, businesses said to be doing very well are Pinches Tacos, Big Ern’s BBQ and Jessica Galindo Couture & Fine Art.

“The store is doing fantastic,” Galindo said.

While visitors appear to have been plentiful during the cool months of winter, the park’s real test will be during the steamy hot days of summer. Shade structures cover most of the park’s centerpiece — a large playground.

Much of the seating outside is constructed of metal. The walls of the cubes/stores, manufactured locally, are coated metal with interior insulation.

A source said the mall was designed with the summer’s brutal heat in mind, though mall operators will be watching to make any adjustments, if needed, as summer sets in.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown; he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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