Jerry Irwin, general manager of the Miracle Mile Shops, started the gig in early September, having come from the same position at Fashion Show Mall.
He’s a longtime retail man, having worked at centers of all sizes and specifications from large, regional malls to urban centers and everywhere in between. This marks the first time he’s worked with a mall attached to a casino, though, and it’s been a while since he’s been in charge of a privately owned center — the Fashion Show is owned by General Growth Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust that has a portfolio of 123 regional U.S. malls.
Miracle Mile is owned by the privately held Tristar Capital and RFR Holding LLC. The latter has a portfolio of more than 100 offices, retail centers, hotels and residences, while the former is a real estate firm that invests in residential and commercial properties.
In 2012, 26 million people visited Miracle Mile, garnering the center $865 in sales per square foot. The center is aimed at midtier, rather than high-end shoppers. The center is open 365 days a year and closes early only on New Year’s Eve. It caters to a primarily tourist clientele.
“Every day it’s different. You never know what kind of adventures you’re going to have,” Irwin said with a laugh.
Recently, Miracle Mile celebrated the opening of Ketchup Premium Burger Bar and Tervis, a brand that manufactures and sells insulated drinkware. Meatball Spot is slated to open in a few weeks and Shoe Palace is set to open during the first quarter of 2014. The center houses about 15 restaurants and 170 stores, and Irwin said he’ll have more openings to announce soon.
“I’m having a good time here,” he said.
What’s the main difference about your new job?
One of the things I was most excited about coming over here is Miracle Mile is privately owned. With private ownership there’s this entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to make decisions quickly. I’m really energized.
What are your goals for the center?
One of the things we’re trying to do is, we always want to improve the merchandise mix. …Really I’m trying to look at every square inch of the place and see how we can make it a better experience for our shoppers.
How do you feel going into the holiday shopping season?
The trends we’ve seen here in Las Vegas are positive. I’m really encouraged this year. But, our shopping patterns are relatively even all year long.
How is the new job treating you?
It’s been great. I loved (General Growth Properties). I was with them for a long time. I think sometimes change is good. It’s a new experience, a new adventure.
What’s been most the challenging aspect?
With any new job, it’s just getting to know things. The physical place, how things work, just learning. But it’s also been fun.