It looks like an aquarium and reptile display is on the way to the Marketplace at Steamtown in Scranton. According to the press release, it's going to be big-- 17,000 square feet.
On the surface, it seems like a great idea. No one is falling over themselves to lease the space. If you believe the experts, big retail and malls are on life support-- even though Viewmont and Wyoming Valley appear to be doing OK.
On the other hand, if the aquarium/reptile display is poorly done, rinky dink or ill maintained, it will do more than harm than good. Admission has to be priced right-- enough to make the place an experience, reasonable for families.
Speaking of malls, Joe Snedeker and I were having one of our patented serendipitous conversations in the weather office last week. I asked when he knew his career would be in science. Joe said it was during trips to the old Viewmont Mall. He used to hang out in the back corner of the toy store, where the science kits and experiments were kept. I knew exactly what he was talking about. The toy store was on the Grant's, later Kaufmann's end. Left side as you walked out of Grant's. The science stuff was at the back of the store. I never bought anything, but I looked and I knew where it was.
Here's the big question: I have a few years on Snedeker. I remember the original name of the toy store as "Kids." It later was taken over by Kay Bee. Kay Bee is not questioned. Was I right on Kids?
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