On September 18th of 1981, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada completed the construction of the largest parking lot in the entire world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The West Edmonton mall had opened for business just three days earlier. The parking lot was made to hold as many as twenty thousand cars.
The West Edmonton mall has broken numerous records through the years. Until 2004, the West Edmonton mall was the world's largest mall, running on for about 48 city blocks, and taking up about 5,300,000 square feet of floor space. The mall was founded by the Ghermezian brothers, who had emigrated from Iran in 1959.
Despite other malls of the world eventually surpassing it in size, the West Edmonton mall is still the largest mall in all of North America. The mall has also held the record for the world's largest indoor amusement park and the world's biggest indoor lake, as well as the world's largest indoor wave pool and the world's largest indoor roller coaster.
The West Edmonton mall features more than 800 retail stores, 100 restaurants, and 19 movie theaters, not to mention two hotels, a chapel, several cool night clubs, and a full sized public ice skating rink where the Edmonton Oilers sometimes go to practice. Major mall attractions at the West Edmonton mall include Galaxyland, World Water Park, Sea Life Caverns, The Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace, Adventure Golf, Ed's Recreation Center, and others.
More than 24,000 people are employed on the mall's property. The West Edmonton mall receives roughly 32 million visitors a year and anywhere from 90,000 to 200,000 shoppers a day, depending on the time of year.
The West Edmonton mall is like a conglomeration of several famous cities. It features cleverly themed boulevards, so visitors can stroll down a quaint 19th century European street, then turn left onto a replica of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. They can also visit the Chinatown wing, where they will see Chinatown inspired retailers and a koi pond. And so on.
The mall's developer (from Triple Five Group) believed having this mall in Edmonton meant that a person didn't have to go to New York, or Europe, or China, or Disneyland, or Hawaii. Everything you needed was right there, all in one place, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
In July of 2004, the mall suffered millions of dollars in damage from a severe storm that caused roofs to cave in and drains to overflow. The ice rink and the waterpark were the most severely affected. The damage was swiftly repaired. In January of 2007, the West Edmonton mall was valued at 926 million Canadian dollars.
However, the West Edmonton Mall will not keep the largest mall parking lot record for too much longer. A mall in Dubai now boasts a 40,000 car parking lot, but that dwarfs by comparison to the parking lot at Dubai's new Al Maktoum International airport. This massive Dubai parking lot will have room for as many as 100,000 vehicles.
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