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River Park Square, Spokane Valley and Northtown Malls reopen

As malls around the Inland Northwest open their doors, retailers are eager to get back in business.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Some stores at the Northtown, Spokane Valley and River Park Square Malls are back in business Tuesday after months long closures due to the coronavirus. 

The Northtown Mall is implementing safety measures that include hand sanitizing stations, social distancing guidelines, touch-free interactions, as well as"frequent and intense cleanings" to keep employees and customers safe. 

The food court will reopen with limited seating to comply with safety guidelines, but customers are still encouraged to use delivery and take-out options. 

Over the past few months, it’s been a ghost town at Northtown Mall.

“Quiet would be an exaggeration actually,” said Mike Means, who operates Go! Calendars, Games & Toy Store. “We’ve been closed since March 23rd.”

On May 26, the mall will officially unlock its doors under Phase 2 of reopening. That benefits people like Means.

“Let’s hope that I have more people in line than I have spots. That would be a great problem to have,” Means said.

The harsh reality of closures left his store with little to no business. Last week, they opened for curbside pickup but that hasn’t done anything to move the numbers.

Means has five employees who he had to lay off through the stay-home order. As soon as he’s able, Means plans to bring them back but he also has to make sure it’s a safe environment.

“I stopped down at Dry Fly and picked up a gallon of hand sanitizer,” Means said.

In the first days back, the mall won’t be under normal operations. Means' store is one of the first that will be allowed to have customers inside.

Even then, they’ll have to function at 30% capacity or less, which he believes shouldn’t be a problem as long as he can get back to doing what he loves.

“To me, there’s no greater joy,” he said.

More stores inside of the mall are expected to open over the next two weeks.

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