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Customers flock as Lindale Mall reopens, businesses work to adjust operations

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Lindale Mall

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Lindale Mall in Linn County officially re-opened their doors for the first time to customers since late March.

Shoppers are asked to follow public health guidelines such as social distancing, staying 6 feet apart from other customers.

Other guidelines include:

  • Covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover is recommended.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Adhere to each individual tenant’s COVID-19 policies.
  • Adhere to all federal, state, and local regulations, recommendations, and mandates
  • regarding COVID-19

The hours are now 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The clock struck 11 a.m. and for the first time since late March, shoppers were welcomed back in the Lindale Mall.

A handful of shoppers even waited by the doors and in their cars for the doors to open. One of them was Dustin Imhoff who was shopping for his son.

"I'm going to grab a couple of pairs of shoes and look around, browse around, see what else I can find," said Imhoff.

Hand sanitizing stations sit by the mall entrances and masks are encouraged for customers but not required.

While only about a third of the stores were open today, people were still ready to be back out.

Erin Mautino said she's fared well during the pandemic and was excited when she heard about the re-opening.

"I was like heck yes I'm going shopping, but it looks like there's not a lot of like shops actually open. So, that's kind of disappointing," said Mautino.

One of the stores that opened today was the Pretzel Maker. Co-Owner Lisa Vanderlind said the store was able to stay open with modifications through the closure but it was worrisome financially.

"The mall let us do curbside pickup, which was nice, but it was. It was really slow," said Vanderlind.

While she said she's happy at the prospect of more business, it's a balancing act with safety. She was able to install a Plexiglas barrier before they opened to the public today.

"We've got the full protector screens on both sides. We put extra sanitize bottles with towels all throughout the store. We got masks for all the employees and a billion gloves," said Vanderlind, "We're doing everything in our power to make it safe for everybody them and us."

As far as if the virus is any concern to some of the shoppers both Imhoff and Mautino said for them, it was not.

"Me personally, No," said Imhoff.

"It doesn't really bother me. I know that it is a touchy topic for some people but, it is what it is. I get it or I don't get it," said Mautino.

While it wasn't a pre-pandemic crowd there were a number of customers during the first hour of being open, customers of all ages.

Additional stores are expected to continue opening this week and next week.

Customers are encouraged to call a store directly or check it's website before coming to the mall to ensure they are open.