Hip To Be Square

Opening and sustaining a large retail center during a recession seems risky, but 3-year-old Town Square has pulled it off. Six-month-old Tivoli Village at Queensridge has a ways to go, but here are our suggestions on what it can do to bolster its success:

Create an exciting shopping experience. Town Square set itself apart by developing a centrally located outdoor complex, accessible to both the Strip and locals. With retail packaged unlike anything else on Las Vegas Boulevard and with stores such as Whole Foods, Apple, English Laundry, Puma and Mac Cosmetics, it is an approachable place to dine and shop. On the west side of town, in Summerlin, Tivoli Village creates an interesting public-square-style shopping environment that challenges Vegas’ conventional “strip-mall” format, but it needs to continue to develop the tenant roster. Planned anchors such as Village Road Show Cinemas, Grand Lux Café, Mastros Steakhouse and AG Jeans generated a buzz when they were announced in 2008. But, because of the economy and construction delays, these tenants dropped out. Hopefully these types of major retailers will arrive with the next phase of Tivoli, in 2013.

Connect with the community. From free storytime to Project Dinner Table, Town Square has accomplished this. And Tivoli Village is already following suit with its increasingly popular Fresh 52 Farmers and Artisan Market every Saturday morning. Also, locals own about half of Tivoli’s current businesses. Our favorites include Bobby Wheat Gallery, the Dog House and Blu Noir. Moving forward, it would be impressive if Tivoli could perpetuate this Vegas-owned business trend, because it’s always satisfying to buy local.

Remain shoptimistic. Town Square had fewer than 40 stores at the 2008 opening. And despite the airplane-flight path changes that naysayers were sure would cause the center’s demise, today more than 100 boutiques and restaurants are thriving. The “shoptimistic” are cheering the success of Tivoli Village because shoppers can never have too many choices. Already showcasing familiar brand names also featured at Town Square—such as Brio Tuscan Grille and Kabuki Japanese Restaurant—Tivoli’s development plans include building retail spaces comparable in size to Town Square’s H&M and Victoria’s Secret.