Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- More stores and restaurants are in the works at Destiny USA, but the mall is already turning out to be the draw mall officials were hoping it would be. They say the mall has seen about a 15 percent increase in visits this year.
The increase has been fueled by more Business from Canada.
“To see people walk in and say, ‘Wow! I had no idea.’ The other thing that’s a great indicator is the number of people who are taking pictures and posting videos online,” said Destiny USA’s David Aitken.
Destiny is going far and wide to market itself, but that’s not the only thing they’re pushing. They’re also trying to get people to come to Syracuse in general.
“If you're in Ottawa, a solid three hours, you can be here. Come here, spend some time at Destiny, go to the Everson Museum, the Erie Canal Museum and experience all of the great culture that we have,” Aitken continued.
Aitken says they’re going hard after the Canadian market, luring them with the experience and cheaper prices. A good exchange rate and a change by the Canadian government allow visitors to bring back more merchandise duty free.
It’s not their only target though – college students are a big draw as well.
"I think a lot of people see it as a way to get off campus and go shopping and there's a free bus on Saturday, so a lot of students come here and eat and shop,” said SU student Stephanie Breed.
Aitken says it’s exactly what they had hoped for – more customers from farther around.
Aitken says the tourist market, buses and tour groups are the real growth area they’re focusing on for the next couple of years.