DIGITAL ORIGINAL: Lancaster mall getting ready for holiday shopping during COVID-19


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — As families reconsider Thanksgiving get-togethers, many will also have to decide whether to take part in another holiday tradition: Black Friday. The Park City Center mall in Lancaster is taking precautions and implementing new shopping practices to make sure customers are safe this holiday season.

In addition to the now-common shopping safety measures — mandatory masks, sanitizing stations, limited customer capacities in stores — Park City is offering some new options, explains Rachel Gallagher, senior general manager at Park City Center.

One way customers can avoid the lines to get into stores is by using Spot Holder. It’s a program that enables shoppers to reserve times to visit certain participating retailers. Park City also offers curbside pickup, so customers who don’t want to enter the mall can still make purchases from several of its stores.

Park City Center will be closed on Thanksgiving, which Gallagher says is different from previous years. When the shopping center opens on Black Friday, Santa Claus will arrive for contactless photos.

“[The] experience with Santa is an important tradition for many families, and we’re happy to be able to provide that this year,” says Gallagher. Guests will have to reserve times to visit Santa, and they will sit on a bench six feet away from him for the photographs. Both Santa and his visitors will wear face coverings, as well.

For those who aren’t comfortable meeting Santa in person this year, Park City also offers virtual North Pole visits.

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