Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
West Edmonton Mall
West Edmonton Mall is the most popular tourist attraction in the province of Alberta. It is the largest mall in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Located in a suburban part of the city, West Edmonton Mall has a gross area of 500,000 m² (5.3 million ft²) and it cost CDN $1.2 billion to build. More than 800 stores and services are located on the two main floors, including 110 eating establishments. There are six anchor tenants (department stores and junior department stores), in addition to six other major stores including The Brick , London Drugs , Sport Chek , Chapters Books, and Winners . Sears is located in the northeast corner, The Bay in the east, and Zellers in the southeast.
Galaxyland is an amusement park located near the centre of the mall; World Waterpark and WEM's Adventure Golf are located in the west end; and Ice Palace is directly in the centre. The mall has more than 23,500 employees. There are large parking areas which together have more than 20,000 parking spaces, making it the world's largest parking lot. The mall is often called "the eighth wonder of the world" by international travel writers and receives 22 million visits per year.
West Edmonton Mall first opened its doors to the public on September 15, 1981. The mall has been expanded three times since its opening in 1981, with these additions completed in 1983 (Phase II), 1985 (Phase III) and 1999 (Phase IV).
The mall's amusement park was originally called Fantasyland, until the Walt Disney Company took the mall to court, claiming ownership of the name which is used in its theme parks such as Disneyland. WEM lost the case and had to rename the attraction Galaxyland. However, the mall was allowed to retain the name Fantasyland Hotel for its on-site hotel.
A small portion of the mall was damaged on July 11, 2004 when a severe storm of hail and rain caused roofs to fail, drains to overflow and millions of dollars of damage, especially to the water park and surrounding sections. The damage has since been repaired.
Permission from the City of Edmonton was recently granted for an expansion. This will include additional retail space, a facility for sports, trade shows and conventions, a 12-story office building, and a 600 unit apartment building, along with more parking. The Mall of Arabia, to be located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates claims that it will be the largest mall in the world when it is completed in 2008.
- Anchor stores The Bay, Zellers, and Sears
- Several movie theaters (total 27 screens)
- Fantasyland Hotel
- Galaxyland (originally Fantasyland) amusement park
- World Waterpark (world's largest indoor waterpark)
- WEM's Adventure Golf
- Ice Palace (NHL-size ice rink)
- Deep Sea Adventure / Sea Lions' Rock (world's deepest indoor manmade lake (25 feet))
- Jubilations Dinner Theatre
The mall also includes several "theme areas" including:
- Bourbon Street - featuring clubs and restaurants in a New Orleans-influenced setting.
- Europa Boulevard - eclectic shops in an area designed to look like a European streetscape.
- Chinatown - Asian-style businesses
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