By Jeff Todd
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – After 196 days being closed, a significant portion of the Colorado Mills mall in Lakewood will reopen at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“We’re just excited to be back,” said Mailie Medina, owner of Kataluma Chai.
Hail destroyed the mall’s roof on May 8, and then rain storms and even a snow shower sent gallons of water rushing into the mall.
Officials set Black Friday as a potential opening day.
“We’re ready for tomorrow, but it’s definitely been a journey,” Medina said. “We lost quite a bit. A lot of my store in particular was wood.”
But all six of Medina’s employees stayed during the reconstruction and will be ready Tuesday morning.
“Business insurance great thing! Helped us get back on our feet and ready to go,” said Medina.
The numbers are staggering. 200,000 sheets of drywall have been installed. That’s equal to 183 acres. The roof is new and the size of 21 football fields.
On top of that, all 12,345 light fixtures have been replaced.
“We’re grateful for all the thousands of people that made today possible. We’re grateful for all the shops returning. All the contractors,” said Kimra Perkins, Colorado Mills General Manager.
In all, 100 stores have agreed to return. The mall can hold 160.
Some stores and restaurants have been open for the past few weeks, but even they are looking for more stores to bring more customers.
“As you look around you can see we’re a work in progress,” Kimra said.
More construction will take place into 2018. Carpet will be a final touch before a complete grand re-opening.
“We just have a little community here and it’s always so nice to feel that community and have that hominess,” Medina said.
Here’s a list of 63 stores that will be open by Friday.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.