Portage la Prairie, MB –
The lure for brand names at bargain prices cost a Portage family twenty bucks in gas and a hundred dollars in food.
The Dillinger family loaded up the mini-van on Saturday for a trip into the city to see the shiny new outlet mall but came back empty-handed.
“We were pretty excited about the new outlet mall,” Terry Dillinger said. “We’d been to outlet malls in the states and got some great deals.”
Mrs. Dillinger and the rest of her brood were a little let down after looking for deals for more than two hours.
“There is a lot of shoe stores here but I already have a few pairs of Crocs. The clothes were all fancy brands made for skinny people,” Dillinger said.
What stood out to the Dillingers was the fancy food court with it’s unique selection of cuisine.
“There was places I’ve never heard of,” James Dillinger said. “I’d gladly drive two hours to eat here again. Great ambiance and I really like their plastic trays, they are a huge step up from Polo Park’s.”
“Our mall in Portage is better in some ways,” Mr. Dillinger added. “We’ve got a better selection of furniture and pet food in Portage but the Outlet Mall’s food court is amazing.”
Surrounded by an Ikea, Cabela’s and a Cirque du Soliel show the area around the Outlet Mall promises to be a strong tourist attraction for Portagers.
“It’s almost like going to another country,” Mrs. Dillinger said. “There is so much culture and stuff. The weird circus thing is French and everybody knows the Ikea is from somewhere in Europe. I personally don’t like all the strange words – so I won’t go there, but lots of my friends do.”
To try to compete, the Portage Mall hosted a travelling midway this spring, although most of it was in English, and is opening its food court up to bag lunches in the fall and hopes to install some vending machines at centre court.