Thousands descend on Woodburn for Black Friday
Motorists around Woodburn likely weren't ignorant of the thousands of shoppers who descended on the Woodburn Premium Outlets last week for Black Friday sales.
The mall opened its doors at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and stayed open for 28 hours straight, closing on Friday,
Nov. 24 at 10 p.m. The mall also had extended hours throughout the weekend, and will open earlier and close later than usual through the end of 2017 to account for holiday shopping.
"We had a great turnout this year and felt we were able to provide our shoppers with a quality Black Friday experience," said Becca Giller, a spokesperson for the Outlets, in an email. "We experience the most foot traffic on property between 6 p.m. on Thursday till about 2 a.m. on Friday morning. The number of shoppers picks up again around 10 a.m. on Friday till 6 p.m. Friday evening."
Representatives for the mall did not provide an estimate of how many people visited the mall during this year's Black Friday and "Gray Thursday," but in 2015 mall employees prepared for 250,000 people — or 100,000 cars — to visit the stores during that year's Black Friday weekend, according to an Independent article.
The mall offered a free shuttle service on Friday from the Best Western on Evergreen Road from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. And on Saturday, the city of Woodburn launched its free transit service to the Outlets in partnership with the mall and Republic Services, which will last through Dec. 24.
The amount of mall visitors last week may have been good for business, but some west Woodburn residents weren't pleased with the amount of traffic.
Arnold Ponce, who's lived in west Woodburn since the 1990s, said the traffic was relatively constant from about 5 p.m. Nov. 23 through the next day. But he noticed some unfamiliar cars parked on his block as early as Thursday morning, and he suspects they were Outlets shoppers.
"It was horrible," Ponce said. "People were parked all along our streets. … You can hardly get in and out."
Giller said the mall puts a lot of time into getting ready for the sales event. "Woodburn Premium Outlets put a great amount of energy in preparing for Black Friday," Giller said in the email. "In addition to ensuring that our retailers are prepared for the holiday rush, we also go to great lengths to keep our property safe during the busy time of year by taking the proper safety measures. Safety is our number one priority year-round, and particularly so on the holidays."