Fayette Mall operating on reduced hours; hoping to help small business

Posted at 3:34 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 19:20:30-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The easy choice given the climate would be to shut it down entirely. And while that is still possible, especially if mandated, Fayette Mall prefers to remain open on a very limited basis.

“We have lots of small business owners here at Fayette Mall, and a lot of them are modifying their hours a bit, but we’re trying to remain open to support them while we can,” said Sarah Robinson, the mall’s Senior Director of Marketing.

Clinton Hurt, who owns “Artique” inside the mall is certainly grateful for the chance to remain open.

“It is good to have the option,” he said. “We want our employees to have money to be able to pay their bills,” he added.

Many people are choosing to stay away from this potentially very public setting, and Hurt said the dip in business has been noticeable over the last week, or two.

“Usually things would pick up late in the afternoon,” he said of a normal, pre-COVID-19, business day.

During our visit on Tuesday morning, you could count the number of people inside on one hand. Many of them were there to get their walking exercise, not necessarily to do much, if any shopping.

Robinson said mall staff is doing everything possible to keep visitors safe, while allowing small business owners a chance to stay afloat.

“We are highly cleaning and sanitizing all traffic areas in the shopping center,” she said.

While the mall’s dining options remain limited to carry-out only, all seating areas in the food court remains closed. “And we’ve temporarily closed our (kids) play area,” Robinson added.

It’s a difficult juggling act between keeping customers safe, while helping store owners who rely on those customers.