CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A local church is teaming up with Chesapeake Square Mall to “scare up business” this Halloween.
The mall has struggled to keep tenants over the years, but The Mount Western Branch is trying to change that.
The church is hosting what it’s calling “the largest trunk or treat in the 757” at the mall on Thursday evening.
It may be Halloween season, but pastor Deanneen Goodrich doesn’t want Chesapeake Square to become a ghost town.
“When I had the vision to do this, I really just wanted to showcase the mall, the life that’s here at the mall, and that there are a lot of businesses still here,” Goodrich said.
Goodrich’s church is partnering with the mall to host a trunk or treat event for kids on Halloween.
The event is a fun alternative to traditional trick-or-treating, but Goodrich hopes families will stick around once the event is over.
“They should come, especially those that live in this area. Consider coming in and shopping and seeing the vendors that’s here,” Goodrich said.
The 30-year-old mall has seen foot traffic dwindle over time.
As 10 On Your Side has previously reported, two of the mall’s six anchor stores have sat vacant for more than three years. Other parts of the mall have more stores empty than open. However, many other stores are still in business and The Mount wants to highlight that.
“I wanted them to see that the Western Branch area is really just a growing area and that the mall has much to offer,” Goodrich said.
We’re told nearly 50 vendors are participating in the trunk-or-treat, including large corporations like Cox Communications, Chick-Fil-A and Golden Corral.
Goodrich hopes it’s a step in the right direction for the mall’s future.
“There will be a whole lot of traffic here,” she said. “We’re expecting a large crowd and hopefully they will see the dollars add up as a result of this event.”
Kotarides Development has plans to revitalize the property which include new retail, dining and living options but it could be a while before that happens.
The trunk-or-treat is at Chesapeake Square Mall from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will be a DJ and bounce houses inside the mall.