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Rushmore Mall finds unique ways to draw in foot traffic

Paranormal Cirque takes up a large chunk of the mall’s parking lot outside of Traders Market, bringing Rapid City an adult circus experience, with a twist.
Paranormal Cirque takes up a large chunk of the mall’s parking lot outside of Traders Market,...
Paranormal Cirque takes up a large chunk of the mall’s parking lot outside of Traders Market, bringing Rapid City an adult circus experience, with a twist.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 4:47 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Like malls all across the country, the Rushmore Mall has seen some changes in recent years, big chain stores empty, mom and pop shops filling the gap, and businesses providing experiences rather than tangible items.

We went down to the mall parking lot to learn more about the newest “tenant”.

We’ve all heard of Christmas in July, but what about Halloween in August?

That’s exactly what Paranmoral Cirque brought to Rapid City, an adult circus experience, with a twist.

“We’ve got the acrobats, we have the comedy, we’ve got wild stunts,” said Benjamin Holland, a unit manager and contortionist with Paranormal Cirque. “We took all of those things and we decided to put kind of a horror or Halloween spin on it because we know there’s that niche of people out there that kind of wants it to be Halloween all year round. We wanted to give those people something to do when it wasn’t October.”

Paranormal Cirque takes up a large chunk of the mall’s parking lot outside of Traders Market.

But why bring an event like this to the mall?

“Malls are changing,” said Emily Batman, Rushmore Mall’s specialty leasing manager. “So it’s more than just brick and mortar. It’s entertainment. It’s activities. It’s things to do. So we wanted to do something different, something for families.”

In 2019, Business Insider said “American malls are dying out. Retail complexes all over the US are being clobbered by store closures sweeping the country. Retailers have announced more than 8,600 closings so far in 2019 and according to a report done by Credit Suisse in 2017, between 20% to 25% of malls will close by 2022.”

But the Rushmore Mall isn’t accepting defeat, they’re fighting back, providing more than a place to buy a new shirt.

“Our goal is, we want to get people in here. We do want to increase foot traffic,” continued Batman. “We do want to get people in here because we have so much to offer. We’ve had stuff in the parking lot, we have an indoor dog park, we have virtual reality, we have a permanent makeup artist, just trying to think outside of the box.”

Thinking outside of the box is what brought Paranormal Cirque to Rapid City, along with a carnival last week and a classic car show earlier this summer.

“There’s something dad can go do, there’s something mom can go do,” said Batman. “And there’s something that the kids can go do.”

Paranormal Cirque opens Thursday and runs through the 15th.

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