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Outlet Center Opens Today North of Washington, Pa.

August 29, 2008

WASHINGTON, Pa. - Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap and Nike are just a few of the brands available at the new Tanger Outlet Center that opens today near The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, Pa.

And although the new shopping destination is located only 25 miles east of The Highlands, Ohio County Administrator Greg Stewart does not believe Tanger will be a direct competitor to the Triadelphia retail center.

A grand opening ceremony will be held for Tanger at 11 a.m. today featuring former Pittsburgh Steelers' star running back Jerome Bettis.

Article Photos

Photo by Casey Junkins
The new Tanger Outlet Center opens today near The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, Pa.

"Our new $90 million Tanger Outlet Center is a major tourism attraction for the Pittsburgh area and the state of Pennsylvania ... ," Steven B. Tanger, president and chief operating officer of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc., said in a release. "The Tanger Outlets near Pittsburgh will welcome millions of brand name bargain hunters from throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and the West Virginia region."

Tanger operates 31 shopping centers in 22 states.

The company estimates the Washington, Pa., center will draw 4.5 million annual visitors to the 370,238-square-foot plaza. The plaza is an open-air venue, but it has covered north and south walkways leading to its stores, which are expected to number 75 once all spaces are filled.

In addition to Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap and Nike, Tanger features American Eagle Outfitters, Banana Republic Factory Store, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Children's Place, Coach Factory Store, Harry and David, Nine West Outlet, Skechers, Timberland Factory Store, Wilson's Leather Outlet, Adidas and Reebok and many others. Shoppers can also enjoy a food court at Tanger.

Tanger shares four retailers with The Highlands in Old Navy, Justice, Dress Barn and rue21.

Though Stewart acknowledges any new retail center located only 25 miles from The Highlands could mean competition for the Ohio County destination, he does not see Tanger having much of a negative impact on The Highlands.

"We are not overly concerned about them (Tanger Outlets) hurting our business at The Highlands. In fact, it may help us bring in some more retailers who may have wanted to go up there (Washington area) because now there is competition up there," he said.

Stewart said that about 60 percent of customers at The Highlands come from Wheeling and areas to the west, while 40 percent come from areas to the east, such as Pennsylvania.

"We bring in a lot of people from Pennsylvania, but we also bring in a lot of people from West Virginia and Ohio, too," he said.

Stewart noted that The Highlands offers a mix of both destination retail and everyday retail with its collection of Cabela's, Wal-Mart, Target, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and others.

"I think a place like that (Tanger) is more of a place where people will go every month or every couple of months. What we are doing is creating a place to draw people on more of a weekly or even daily basis with Wal-Mart, Target and the others, " he said.

Stewart added that Cabela's and the planned Wild Escape theme park will also allow The Highlands to draw customers from long distances.

Currently, county officials are waiting for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue earthwork permits for Phase V of The Highlands development, where they hope Wild Escape will be built. Stewart also hopes to receive the Phase V permit so the West Virginia Department of Transportation can construct a new Interstate 70 interchange to access The Highlands near the bottom of Two Mile Hill.

"If we can get that new ramp, we should be in good shape because people tell me that one of the best things about our development is that everything is easily accessible once you get on" Cabela Drive, he said.

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