Destiny USA Reopening Gives Sales Tax Relief to Syracuse but Won't Avert Crisis without Govt Aid

Jul 10, 2020

Destiny USA opening will provide some sales tax relief to Syracuse, but not help city avert a crisis if federal aid doesn't come, according to Mayor Walsh
Credit WAER File Photo

The City of Syracuse continues to face a mounting financial crisis, but could get a little help from Friday’s opening of Destiny USA.  The mega-mall has been closed since mid-March amid the coronavirus.  That cost the city an estimated $80 million  in sales tax revenue.  


Mayor Ben Walsh says even though the health concern is still high, the reopening couldn’t have come soon enough.

“Selfishly I’m happy to have the facility open and hopefully it can start generating some new revenue, not just for the City of Syracuse but (also for benefit of ) our constituents, those that are working at the mall, those that are operating businesses a the mall.  (I am) hopeful and cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to maintain health and safety along the way.”

If Destiny proves not to be safe, it may have to shut down again, which Syracuse can’t afford.  The state withheld more than $12 million in aid last week.  

Walsh has resorted to measures such as asking residents for donations to open local pools.  The City hasn’t been able to hire summer employees either. Walsh says only federal aid can save Syracuse.

“Without that federal aid, it is going to be devastating on the City of Syracuse.  There will be no way to make up for the losses without federal funding, without looking at cuts in service and cuts in jobs.  The stakes couldn’t be higher.”

According to Walsh, Congress member John Katko hopes the City will receive federal aid by late-July or early-August.  Meanwhile, Syracuse continues to take on projects such as repaving over 50 miles of roads, anticipating federal funds.  Walsh, however, describes it as a risk.

DESTINY REOPENS WITH HEALTH & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
(Source: Destiny USA marketing)

  • Face Mask Requirement: Everyone visiting Destiny USA will be required to wear a face mask before entering, in accordance with New York State and CDC guidelines.
  • Social Distancing: All guests will be reminded to maintain social distancing and stay 6-feet apart with visual reminders placed throughout the center, along with new one-way directional signage to avoid contact with other guests.
  • Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitizing: Destiny USA has enhanced its cleaning and sanitizing of the common areas and numerous touch points, restrooms, seating areas, and food court. This includes using CDC-recommended disinfectants designated as effective against SARS-CoV-2 virus in accordance with or exceeding CDC sanitation guidelines.
  • Enhancements to Air Circulation and Filtration: Enhancements have been made to increase air circulation, air filtration and fresh air intake to bolster the quality of air within the center – all meeting New York State standards.
  • Proactive Touchless Disinfecting: Destiny USA’s cleaning team will be utilizing new electrostatic sprayers, leveraging the same technology used to clean hospital rooms to sanitize its center using an approved disinfectant recommended by the CDC.
  • Hand Sanitizer Stations: New hand sanitizer stations will be available at:
    • Digital directories throughout the property
    • Food court areas
    • Elevators and escalators
    • Throughout the common area
  • Curbside Pickup: Guests are encouraged to take advantage of our additional parking spaces at various center entrances designated for curbside pickup from your favorite brands. The main curbside pickup location is located near the Carousel entrance.
  • Daily Health Screenings for Destiny USA employees, security personnel, housekeeping employees and all contractors are mandatory.