Ascension Parish prepares for reopening
GONZALES- One of the largest outdoor shopping centers in our area is gearing up for what 'Phase 1' of a reopening will look like.
The Tanger Outlet Mall offers over 60 options for savvy shoppers to immerse themselves in. Just like many businesses in our community, Tanger has been shutdown since at least mid-March when the coronavirus crisis forced shutdowns around the nation.
"I normally do come and shop and have a good time with my friends and family," Lauren Lewis said.
Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux said both he and his staff have been in constant communication with leaders there.
"They are ready to open and when I say that, I mean the folks here at Tanger, from what we gather from the General Manager," Arceneaux said. "They are waiting on corporate headquarters to give them the green light."
Arceneaux said 70 percent of the city's budget comes from sales tax revenues. Despite Tanger Outlets and other major shopping centers being closed, he said the city is doing just fine.
"We feel good," Arceneaux said. "We've got money in the bank so to speak. We know we can continue to run the city if we have to for another year. But, needless to say, you don't want to do that if you don't have to do that."
Arceneaux said his staff has run the numbers about what a 'Phase 1' reopening will look like. According to Arceneaux, in a 3,500 square foot business, that's about 13 people inside at a time.
"We're basically telling all of them to follow the guidelines of what governor has put forth," Arceneaux said. "We think you'll be OK with what doctors in our area and Washington are telling us to do."
As businesses get ready to change the way they are used to operating, Arceneaux said Gonzales has appeared to weather this crisis in a unique fashion. Currently, no businesses in Gonzales have gone out of business as of yet, according to his office.
We reached out to Tanger's Corporate Office in North Carolina to confirm when there is a reopening. We have not heard back.
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