A year in the waiting and six months in the making, the Smart Outlets at Nebraska Crossing are ready to open this Friday.
With events Thursday and a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning, Nebraska Crossing is celebrating its grand opening and inviting the public to check out the mall.
The festivities begin on Thursday at 2 p.m. as Nebraska Crossing welcomes 400 children and host families of Boys Town, said Jenny Mitten, Nebraska Crossing's marketing director. These children will be given a backpack full of coupons they can redeem for a variety of items throughout the mall.
“Instead of giving them something, we thought it'd be more fun and interactive for them to redeem the coupons,” Mitten said.
She said this turns the event into a bit of a scavenger hunt for the children as they have to search out the mall for the brands they desire, such as J. Crew clothing or Auntie Annie's pretzels.
Later that night, the mall will open to nearly 975 guests who RSVP'd to the Nebraska Crossing FirstLOOK fashion show as well.
Eve, the Grammy award-winning rapper and songwriter who was scheduled to perform at the Thursday event has canceled the performance.
Eve will not be able to attend the event because of a scheduling conflict. “She will be in London that day,” said the shopping center developer, Rod Yates of OTB Destination.
While these two events are invitation only, Mitten said the public is welcome to Friday's ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. to celebrate, check out and “just be the first ones on the property” before stores open at 10 a.m.
She said the mall is expecting anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 people each day following the opening.
Nebraska Crossing plans further celebrate its launching with its inaugural 45 Days of Giveaways.
“Every day for 45 days, we'll give away two Apple iPad Airs,” Mitten said.
Additionally, she said the outlet mall will give away 20 brand gift cards up to $200. To enter for the daily drawings, she said people must opt in to the Nex Club at nexoutlets.com or at one of the 10 digital kiosks on site at the mall.
“The giveaway is a huge thing,” she said.
Mitten said the brands will celebrate as well, such as Tony Bahamas having live entertainment. A full list of individual grand opening sales and events was not available as of press time, but will be available on the nexoutlets.com.
Mitten said she encourages those seeking more information on future events, as well as the Nex Club, to visit the mall's website.
World Herald News Service contributed to this report