After an estimated $200 million in repairs, Opry Mills has been fully refurbished and is open for the first time in nearly two years.
More than a dozen new stores will join some familiar favorites. And a few, like the Nike Store, are also remembering the devastating May 2010 flood with photos and displays of the aftermath.
The flood took so much from Middle Tennessee and affected so many people, and many say that the return of Opry Mills signifies a big step toward the region's recovery.
"I just want to see some of the new stores that have come in and see what they've done as far as renovations," said shopper Karen Pearson.
And not only does the reopening mean more shopping and entertainment options in the area, the mall means nearly 3,000 jobs for Middle Tennessee.
"Everyone has been so incredibly supportive of us through the process that we're just really excited to bring them back again," said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills, a Simon company.
Pam Tillis sang The Star-Spangled Banner to kick off a day's worth of live entertainment to celebrate the occasion.
Other events today include giveaways and free music.
According to the state tourism director, 60% of visitors to Opry Mills are tourists.
The mall, with 140 retailers, is owned by Simon Property Group.
Upcoming Events:* April 13-15 - "Super Sale Weekend"A spring event where shoppers can take advantage of deeper discounts.* April 28-29 - Opening of new "Tennessee Treasures" play area with family friendly entertainment.* May 4-5 - Grand finale fashion shows and a free outdoor concert with Josh Turner, part of the "Southern Nights Celebration."
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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