10,000 hotel rooms in the city you have never heard of

By | Category: Travel destinations

Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe

In about another two years, Bloomington in the US state of Minnesota will have nearly 10,000 hotel rooms. That is a lot for a city that few readers will have heard of. Why so many?

Because Bloomington is where the second largest largest shopping mall in North America is based – the Mall of America. And the Mall of America is very popular with British tourists. In fact we make up the largest contingent on non-North American visitors.

You wouldn’t find hoteliers expanding if they felt there was only a slight demand but then who stays overnight at a shopping centre?

They do at Mall of America because it more than just being about shops. If it were then this Bloomington shopping area wouldn’t be such a visitor draw. (40 million people go there every year) The developers have turned the Mall of America into almost a theme park and it certainly is a big tourist attraction. Even I’ve been there and I can’t abide shopping!

Being just a few stops away from the Minneapolis-St Paul airport certainly helps making it one of the easiest attractions to get to especially if you just jet in for the weekend as many do. If it takes you longer than ten minutes to get to after you get to the airport stations ( there is a station for each terminal) then you have fallen asleep and missed your stop!

The Bloomington skyline at night

It also houses Nickelodeon Universe, (which has the roller coasters called SpongeBob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge and Avatar Airbender, SeaLife Aquarium Minnesota) Crayola Experience, two miniature golf courses, a flight simulation ride called FlyOver America and one of the largest mirror mazes in the world. That is why it needs more hotel space. Because people flock there not just to shop but to enjoy themselves in a family atmosphere.

The developers have designed a mall which has grown to more than a shopping complex. (give or take, it has about 520 shops.) They produce a nine minute lights show each evening and have performances from January to mid-November from local community groups and choirs up to three times a day. Five films or part of five have been made there as well as a reality television series.

Just over half a mile away and newly re-opened after it was purchased bynew owners is another family themed entertainment, the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort with eleven different water features all of which goes to justify why more and more hotels are being built.

In another five years there might be 20,000 rooms because 40 million people have to stay somewhere when they visit a tourist resort!

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