VERIFY – YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS, WE’LL FIND ANSWERS
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We received an email claiming the Colorado Mills Mall wouldn’t re-open until November at the earliest, after it was damaged in the hail storm May 8.
The email didn’t come with any official letterhead, signature or contact information for a mall official, so we set out to verify whether it was true and when the mall might re-open.
WHAT WE FOUND
For answers, we reached out to Simon, the company that owns the mall, the mall’s marketing director Brenda Cleary, a public relations firm and as many stores, managers and owners as we could track down.
We didn’t hear back from anyone who could officially speak on the mall’s behalf.
A representative from Simon took our contact information, but no one called us back. She also suggested we called Curator, a public relations firm that sent out emails about the hail damage early on. Cleary’s voicemail also directed us to call Curator. We left voicemail messages and emails with two people from Curator. Never heard back.
We did hear from back from people who manage stores inside the mall.
Bonnie O’Donnell, who works for the corporate office of Opinions LTD in Ohio, had heard of a letter through media reports and from employees in Colorado, but she hadn’t received one. She couldn’t confirm who authored it.
Paola Amado, who manages Elegance Perfumes, told 9NEWS she hasn’t received any communication from Colorado Mills or Simon about when the mall might re-open.
“This is the most frustrating part of all. We have no idea,” Amado said. “I know they’re working their best. They have no answers; the management says they don’t know.”
She’s a partial owner and the manager on site, so she can’t imagine she’d be left out of the loop if the mall was sending out emails.
Amado’s heard different timelines from other store employees, mall employees and contractors working inside the mall. The estimates range from two to six months.
“They’re tearing apart the floor… everything is shut down. There’s no electricity,” Amado said. “Everything looks damaged.”
So, she believes it’s possible repairs could take six months or more.
Also on the list of things Colorado Mills hasn’t told her is whether she can get out of her contract. All an employee could tell her was it depends on her contract.
“I was really like scared and frustrated if we have to keep paying rent for all those months that we’re closed,” Amado said. “If that’s what the contract states … we have no choice.”
She’s having her contract reviewed.
Amado hopes to have answers to all her questions soon. She’s told her employees they should start looking for other employment, and she’s also started looking herself.
“I think at this point somebody should know,” Amado said.
We can’t confirm when the mall will re-open or whether the email claiming it will be November at the earliest is real.
What we know is: If Simon or Colorado Mills is sending out communications about when the mall might re-open, some of the tenants are not getting those messages.