Themed entertainment reels in big bucks for CityPlace

By John Bachman email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Layoffs and store closings: That's the stark reality facing a lot of retail businesses these days. That could mean trouble for entire shopping centers unless they adapt.

Despite rough times for some of the retail shops, CityPlace is trying to attract more places where people can escape from the harsh economic reality.

One woman said, "We don't go out as much as we used to. I've got to say."

And who can afford to these days? But when people are going out, a lot of them seem to be coming to West Palm Beach's CityPlace.


Carey O'Donnell handles public relations for the shopping and entertainment complex. "Because, I think, that people are seeking some escape from reality in this economy."

She says CityPlace and the businesses located there are trying to capitalize on that escapism.

Take the Improv Comedy Club: it just expanded. The new Greek restaurant Taverna Opa is exceeding expectations even on a Tuesday night. And there are plans for more theme restaurants like a French cancan place. Themed entertainment has really kind of become a hallmark of CityPlace this season.

O'Donnell says it started with the snow promotion during the holidays. But it kind of snow balled from there. Instead of being a just a shopping destination, CityPlace is now focusing more on attracting people to the complex for entertainment whether it's food, comedy or just people watching.

Now, they are not abandoning the retail shopping sector. There are also plans for a new Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works.