This past weekend, my twin daughters had planned to visit our neighborhood mall, Southwest Plaza, to shop for prom shoes. But after being locked down at Chatfield High School on April 20, the twelfth anniversary of the shootings at nearby Columbine High School, due to a bombing attempt, allegedly by Earl Albert Moore, they drove to Park Meadows instead. Are other shoppers doing likewise, causing business at Southwest Plaza to suffer?
Nicole Spreck, the Chicago-based spokeswoman for Southwest Plaza, which is owned by General Growth Properties, declines to go there. "That's proprietary information and not something we're able to discuss," she says.
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However, Spreck notes that "the safety of our shoppers and retailers is of the utmost concern to us. That's really where our priority lies."
Spreck stresses that mall staffers worked closely with law enforcement during the investigation that led to Moore's arrest yesterday morning in Boulder. And while she won't talk about whether security has been increased in the wake of the food-court fire that led to the discovery of two propane tanks and a pipe bomb, she says, "Anytime an incident occurs, we always take that as an opportunity to evaluate our security procedures."
Interpretation? The Southwest Plaza braintrust would like to put Moore's actions in the rear-view mirror as quickly as possible, in the hope that potential customers like my daughters soon stop looking at the mall as a target for loonbags and return to seeing it as a place to buy really cute shoes.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Forgiving my Columbine High School friend, Dylan Klebold."