Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Business

Westfield Brandon is prepared for holiday rush

BRANDON — It's that time of year again.

The mall is decorated like a winter wonderland, and Santa Claus is posing with tiny tots. Extra employees have been put on the payroll, and Christmas music is pumping through the speaker system.

It's the holiday shopping season.

And that means long lines, traffic and limited parking spaces.

But the staff at Westfield Brandon mall has planned ahead in order to make the experience go as smoothly as possible.

We recently quizzed Dawn Arvidson, marketing director at Westfield Brandon, about what shoppers can expect.

Construction has started on Gornto Lake Road. What kind of traffic can mall visitors expect from that?

All current enter and exits roads will operate as normal throughout the holiday shopping season. We are partnering with the county to temporarily halt construction over the holidays on the Gornto Lake intersection that links to Town Center Drive.

Even without the construction, traffic is going to be inevitable this time of year. What is Westfield Brandon going to do to alleviate some of that?

We work closely with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office to maximize efficiency and traffic flow on the access roads, which are on the mall's property. Measures are in place to minimize congestion and provide efficient entry and exit for shoppers during peak shopping times.

How long will the construction be going on? Will there be any road closures or blockages from the construction?

The estimated completion date, provided by the county, is late 2013. The Gornto Lake intersection will remain open; however, early next year there will be slight lane shifts as the intersection is reconfigured.

What advice does the mall have for shoppers coming during this busy time of year, to avoid traffic?

We encourage shoppers to use one of the three additional entrances to the center as an alternative to S.R. 60. Alternate entrances can be accessed from Providence Road, Causeway Boulevard and Gornto Lake Road.

What else can shoppers be on the lookout for during the holiday season?

To help shoppers identify the hottest gifts this holiday season, Westfield has created a "Gifts We Love" gift guide series available on Facebook that will provide daily gifts suggestions at various price points available at our retailers. Plus, Westfield is hosting a national "Love to Gift" sweepstakes, also via Facebook, which will "Cover Christmas" with a $1,000 shopping spree for four lucky shoppers.

Comments
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 7 hours ago
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday.Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president and chief distr...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality st...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

TAMPA — Circle K is converting the gas station portion of eight of its Hillsborough locations to Circle K fuel. Previously, the fuel was provided by other brands, such as Shell. The new Circle K branding also brings with it the Canadian-owned conveni...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida has the strongest residential building codes among 18 coastal states, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Florida’s rating is 95, almost three times higher than lowest-ranked Texas. Other states wit...
Published: 04/25/18
Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Times staffRedlining’ — banks’ refusal to make mortgage loans in certain areas — still has a huge effect on housing values even though the practice was banned 50 years ago. According to Zillow, a Tampa Bay house in a once-redlined area is worth less ...
Published: 04/25/18
Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

NOW OPEN: TEX-MEX CHAIN CHUY’SThe Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opened its first Tampa restaurant on Tuesday, giving away free Chuy’s for two for a year to the first 50 customers. I know, we missed it, it’s a bummer, but we can still visit...
Published: 04/25/18
Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Elected officials have talked about relocating City Hall from the downtown bluff for a good 30 years. Now there’s a jolt of urgency to actually do it.Voters backed a referendum in November that essentially greenlighted the $55 million re...
Published: 04/25/18