Other than the malls of the strip and the nearby Boulevard Mall, the vast suburban expanse of Las Vegas, Nevada–much of which has been built in the last decade or two–is covered by only two full-line enclosed shopping malls, on the southeast and northwest sides of the city. The Meadows Mall, which is a 900,000 square foot, two level enclosed mall located in the city of Las Vegas itself but which serves the large and sprawling suburb of Summerlin (the largest planned community in America) as well, is the one on the city’s northwest side.
Perhaps because so much of Las Vegas’ first tier shopping is clustered in the center of the city, and because so much of the city is so new that it contains many big box plazas, lifestyle centers, and other newer styles of development, the malls don’t feel as important as they do in many older and more established cities. Meadows Mall is certainly functional, with anchor stores like Macy’s (a former Broadway store), Sears, Dillard’s, and JCPenney, but for the most part it is a functional and unremarkable suburban mall, neither high nor low end but comfortably treading middle ground. The decor inside and out is pretty standard, though I give high marks to the mall’s sign, with its faux-grass scheme.
Apparently, many local residents think even less of it, often referring to it as the “Ghetto Meadow” or “The Ghettos,” possibly because of its relative proximity to downtown Las Vegas. It’s also about to face new competition from the proposed Great Mall of Las Vegas in Centennial Hills, a 1.6 million square foot, hybrid indoor-outdoor mall planned to be built in the northwestern suburbs of Las Vegas.
Judging by my experiences in Las Vegas, they seem to have pretty high standards. While the Meadows Mall may have been the least successful of Las Vegas’ enclosed malls, it wouldn’t be considered as such almost anywhere else. It seems that maybe the pace of change in the valley is determined to swallow this one up before its time.