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After tough times, Miracle Mile Shops turns 22

Updated August 17, 2022 - 11:02 am

What started as a shopping center that “struggled” inside the former Aladdin has evolved into the Miracle Mile Shops — a more than one mile shopping and entertainment destination attached to Planet Hollywood that is celebrating its 22nd anniversary on Wednesday.

“It was originally part of the Aladdin, and it had some troubles when they originally opened,” said Brian Sorrentino, director at ROI Commercial Real Estate. “It struggled.”

The shops got a rebrand in 2007, changing names from Shops at Desert Passage to the current moniker. At the time, the Review-Journal reported that the “Moroccan-themed Shops at Desert Passage at the Aladdin was a financial disappointment almost from the day it opened in 2000.”

Since then, the mall, owned by Miller Capital Advisory and California public pension fund CalPERS, has become a staple on the Strip, attracting millions. And it continues to evolve with a makeover that will add new LED digital screens, landscaping and updates to its interior, including its rainstorm show.

Sorrentino said that when the mall rebranded and created a street entrance, it became “invigorated.”

“It is the best mall within that mid-tier price range of customer,” said Sorrentino. “The barrier to entry is low, which is really attractive to the pedestrians that are walking on the Strip in that location.”

Now, the shops draw around 26 million visitors every year, according to Wendy Albert, senior director of marketing for Miracle Mile. Since its opening in 2000, the center has welcomed nearly 470 million shoppers.

“Everybody is looking for something fun to do when they come to the Strip. I think Miracle Mile Shops is great at delivering on that,” said Albert. “We have stores and restaurants that you can’t find everywhere else.”

First to market

Miracle Mile has opened some of the first Las Vegas retail locations for brands such as Morphe Cosmetics, eyewear label Quay Australia and Garrett Popcorn Shops as well as the first U.S. location, at the time, of robotic bar Tipsy Robot. It also welcomed the first Nevada location of fast-fashion chain H&M in 2007, which drew more than 600 people at its grand opening.

Even with the constant churn of shops closing and new stores opening, Albert said 13 stores have remained inside the 500,000-square-foot center for 22 years. They include Wyland Galleries, Aldo, White House Black Market, Lucky Brand, Sunglass Hut, Tommy Bahama, Ben & Jerry’s, Steve Madden, Bath & Body Works, Magnet Max, Sephora, Loft, and Fossil.

“With the 13 stores that have been here since we opened in 2000, so many of them have opened other locations since then,” said Albert. “So I think that just speaks to how successful they are here in a Miracle Mile Shops.”

She said the mall’s renovation continues with plans to complete the updates next year. It remains open to the public during renovations.

“We’re getting new flooring, new seating, new restrooms. New LED screens are going to be installed to the exterior of the property,” said Albert. “We’re also adding some really great technological features that are going to be great shows.”

Albert also teased that changes will be coming to the signature rainstorm show, a free daily show inside the mall that mimics a thunderstorm with lightning, fog and rain.

“We’re actually going to be updating that and giving it a new look and some new cool features to it,” said Albert. “We just want to make sure that we’re adding new (things) but then also keeping some of the favorite items about the properties.”

Sorrentino said having more than just stores will help Miracle Mile continue to thrive.

“Malls that are excelling are providing … any kind of an experience to attract you and actually enhance the shopping experience,” said Sorrentino. “Miracle Mile offers that.”

A previous version misstated the access to Miracle Mile Shops.

Contact Emerson Drewes at edrewes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @EmersonDrewes on Twitter.

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