Malls in America seem like they are dying a slow death and Courtland Center in Burton, MI is no exception.

It has been several years since I have actually gone out to go shopping. Even before COVID closed many things down, I mainly did my shopping online. So last week I decided to go out and see what the malls in the area are looking like, and I won't lie and say that what I found was not depressing.

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Last week, I stopped into Genesee Valley Center and it really was a shame to see so many units that were unoccupied. However, there were at least some signs of life and more businesses open than I thought there would be. Today, I stopped in at Courtland Center in Burton and I felt a completely different feeling there. While the big business on the outside seemed to be doing well (JCPenney, Planet Fitness, etc...) the inside shops are a different story.

It has been a number of years since I've been in Courtland Center and unfortunately it is now way more empty than I remember. The food court is empty with the exception of El Cozumel Mexican Grill, most of the store units sit completely unused, and the lighting was dim which made it feel like the mall wasn't even open yet. The long hallway in the center had a post-apocalyptic feel to it with only a handful of stores in business.

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The stores that remain include JCPenney, Dunham's Sports, Staples, Jo-Ann Etc., Planet Fitness, El Cozumel Mexican Grill, Bath & Body Works, Magoo's Pet Outlet, I Need That, Courtland Alterations & Men's Wear, Lisa's Hair & Nails, a clothing shop called Lisa's, Jackson Hewitt, Goodwill, and that is about it (I may have missed one or two.) The Sloan Museum also occupies one of the largest storefronts right in the center of the mall. Currently, the Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit is being shown there until July 16th, which I plan to go check out soon.

It is just sad to see. Most of us have many fond memories of the malls growing up. I remember meeting friends at the malls, arcades, toy stores, and more. Even within my radio career, I have done a lot of events in the area's malls. From online shopping to COVID, crime and other factors are causing some malls to die a slow death.

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