Destiny USA

Tourism in Central New York has all but come to a halt since mid-March when college sporting events were cancelled, and retailers and restaurants shut their doors.  All but one convention booked for this year have bailed out. 

Phase 4 of New York’s reopening strategy started in Onondaga County Friday. Some of Central New York’s arts and recreation businesses will now be able to once again open their doors. However, gyms, movie theaters and malls were not a part of the phase.

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Friday's phase one reopening means more merchants at Destiny USA are now permitted to offer curbside pick-up for customers.  So far, General Manager Rob Schoeneck says the service has been limited to three restaurants and two retailers since the mall closed March 18th. 

John Smith / WAER News

The Syracuse Police Chief and Manager of Destiny USA want to reassure shoppers the shooting incident on Black Friday in the food court area was an isolated incident.  Police were alerted shortly after 7 PM and quickly responded to the scene.  Chief Kenton Buckner says a victim was shot twice in the leg.

It appears the effort to promote Destiny USA to domestic and especially international audiences is paying off. The shopping, dining, and entertainment venue ended last year with impressive gains in group travel visitation.

Both Destiny USA and state fairgrounds events ended 2017 with sharp increases in the number of visitors over the previous year.  Tourism officials credit targeted marketing efforts and venue improvements.

Whitman School of Management website.

Diehard Black Friday Shoppers might be trained to think the best deals are only to be found on Black Friday but, a Professor of Retail Practice at Syracuse University’s Whitman School says that’s changed.

John Smith / WAER News

Out of all of the shirts for sale in stores at Destiny USA, you’ll never see any with these sayings... ”The pain will never stop," and “I chose to survive.”  Those are just a sampling of the more than 300 shirts spread across the Vera House Clothesline Project at the mall to raise awareness about sexual abuse.  All of them are made by survivors and will be on display until May 6th.  Prevention and Education Director Loren Cunningham says sexual abuse causes a ripple effect of emotions in families and beyond.

Mark Bialczak

  The Cheesecake Factory in Destiny USA got its second chance Saturday night.

John Smith / WAER News

Some Central New Yorker’s are leaping into the New Year hoping to land a new job in a pretend warmer setting at a themed restaurant.  Many applicants are getting a sneak peak of Margaritaville at Destiny USA before the plastic wrap is even removed from the pelican’s and other props.  Manager Mike Griswald says they’re looking for everything from Bartenders, Servers and Line-cooks to Retail Cashiers.