The Parkite is a Main (Street) attraction
December 30, 2014
Now that customers have had a few weeks to wander in and catch their first look at the newly renovated Parkite building on Main Street, the reviews are streaming in.
For the most part, people seem pleased with the building that has transformed its section of Main Street. Erica Forsyth, a Los Angeles native who visits Park City several times a year, said she came downtown specifically to check out the new building, at 333 Main Street. It was previously known as the Main Street Mall.
"It’s totally beautiful," she said. "I think it’s going to be huge for the town and for the street. I really like it. For nostalgia’s sake, I was sad the old building was being torn down. But I was super happy to see what would go in. I love the change. The architecture fits in beautifully. It fits in with that modern feel, but at the same time it has a mountain feel to it, as well."
Lululemon Athletica, a retailer of women’s yoga and fitness gear, was the first store to open in the building, on Nov. 28. Now, two others have joined it — clothing store Robin’s Jean and shoe retailer The Ugg Store — with a third, ski apparel store Gorsuch, set to follow sometime in January. One retail space is still available.
Michelle Hathaway, manager of Lululemon Athletica, said the three stores have seen heavy traffic.
"I would say that people are loving the mall," she said. "We’re seeing people come in crowds up to the area. Locals are in daily, and tourists are coming in swarms."
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When Lululemon Athletica opened in November, Hathaway said the goal of The Parkite was to bring more people to Main Street. Roughly a month in, she’s ready to call that mission a success.
"I think we definitely have accomplished it," Hathaway said. "The parking on China Bridge is right across from us, and we’re basically on the crosswalk, so it’s really easy to get to us. People are finding it a lot easier than they expected. And we’re seeing guests popping in between different stores. They’re coming in with bags from other stores, so they’re definitely enjoying the experience of the whole mall."
Forsyth said the new stores seem to be an improvement over what they replaced, adding that the old building was "something you’d skip. You’d walk right by it."
"The old one was so grungy, with all of these old shops," she said. "I liked the local shops, but it was a little too run-down. It wasn’t as walkable or as easy to navigate. It wasn’t welcoming, while this is very welcoming."
Bailey Matheson, manager of Robin’s Jean, said he has heard nothing but positive reviews of the new building. Having recently moved to town from California to manage the store, he has been intrigued by the variety of people who have visited The Parkite.
"People have been receiving it really well," he said. "And it seems like Park City is kind of like a melting pot. People have come here from all over. And we really try to open in those kind of cities."
The Parkite’s opening has not just been a boon to the stores inside the building, as retailers nearby say they have also benefitted.
Brent Parkin, owner of the clothing and gifts store North Woods USA, at 323 Main Street, said traffic into his shop has increased since The Parkite opened, due in large part to the removal of the construction fences that had surrounded the building and closed the sidewalk for more than a year.
"The fact of them opening up the sidewalk has made a world of difference," he said. "My wife likened it to the sea opening up, and now there’s a lot more people coming through."
Though Parkin said he prefers the look of the old building, he believes The Parkite will continue to drive people to his business.
"I think it will be a real positive," he said.
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