Nebraska Crossing plans 'soft re-opening' next weekend

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 3:59 PM CDT
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is planning a "soft re-opening" for Saturday, April 24, according to a flyer distributed to retailers at the outlet mall.

Developer Rod Yates told 6 News that the re-opening is a chance for the state to be a leader in re-opening the U.S. economy.

"Our global retailers have asked us to take on this role and be the first shopping center back open in the U.S.," Yates said in an email response. "Retailers are looking for leadership and developing best practices for landlords and retailers to work together to bring physical shopping centers back online and creating safe conditions for our customers and employees. Nebraska Crossing will be in a leadership position to make this happen."

, the outlet mall and its management offices have been open even after Gov. Pete Ricketts issued several Directed Health Measures with restrictions that forced many businesses across the state to completely retool their day-to-day operations.

"Our management team is onsite every day and continues to follow all guidelines put in place by the Nebraska Department of Health the CDC," the flyer states. "Our mall and management office have remained open, supporting the handful of retailers that have been open for business and/or have been fulfilling online and curbside pick-up orders."

The flyer also describes the event planned for April 24 as an unveiling of newly remodeled restaurants and outdoor spaces, including an outdoor soccer field adjacent to an expanded athletic-wear store and a "partially enclosed" golf simulator branded for another, the event is a lead-up to a formal grand re-opening event in May, according to the flyer which mentions COVID-19 only in the title of the document.

"We will walk before we run here," Yates said. "And obviously, if you have any underlying health issues, we will encourage shoppers and/or employees to not participate in the center’s soft re-opening."

The flyer says the outdoor shopping center has "thorough cleaning practices" in place, and that guidelines for both employees and customers will be posted. Among those guidelines:

  • Infrared non-contact thermometers were purchased for each store as Nebraska Crossing ownership recommends every employee be "tested upon arrival before their shift to ensure they are not exhibiting adverse symptoms.
  • Barriers were purchased for each store's point-of-sale location.
  • Customers and employees will be encouraged to wear protective masks and gloves.
  • Janitorial staff is checking all handsoap dispensers "frequently" to make sure they are working and filled.
  • Sanitary wipes stations have been installed in "common areas."
  • Stores are following their own cleaning procedures "for the in-store experience."
  • Best practices for safety and health will be posted on the Nebraska Crossing website, app, social media, and on-site displays.

"Communication and new best practices are key," Yates said.

The median age of workers at Nebraska Crossing is 35, he said.