Beachwood Place Restricts Unaccompanied Teens on Friday and Saturday Nights
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It looks like Friday and Saturday nights are going to be a little bit quieter at Beachwood Place in 2017.
After a stampede of teenagers at the mall on the evening of Monday, Dec. 26, management implemented a new restriction on anyone under the age of 18 from shopping or walking on the premises after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, unless they have a legal guardian present.
The policy took effect on Jan. 6.
“Our intention in launching the [Parental Guidance Restriction (PGR) program] is to eliminate disruptive behavior that is currently detracting from the family-friendly, comfortable shopping environment we want to provide our guests,” wrote Neisha Vitello, Senior General Manager of GGP Inc., in an email. GGP is the parent corporation of Beachwood Place.
While the Beachwood Police Department described the event on Dec. 26 as a “large-scale disturbance,” executives from Beachwood Place attribute the new policy to multiple disruptions caused by juveniles rather than one specific event.
Visitors who appear to be under the age of 18 are carded and, once admitted, are provided with identification wristbands to avoid being carded again.
This is the first time mall management has placed restrictions on teens since Beachwood Place opened in 1978.
Some Beachwood students are unhappy about the new policy.
“I think it’s pretty unfair that one problem stops us from going to the mall in the future,” said junior Derrick Sanders, who was at Beachwood Place the night of the altercation. “I just think that it’s not okay to prevent us from hanging out.”
Other students tend to agree. While they may acknowledge that safety is a legitimate concern, students argue that the policy change has unfairly impacted their ability to spend time with friends on the weekends.
“Personally, I don’t like the restriction,” said senior Alex Orloff. “The mall is a place that should promote community and where we should be able to hang out.”
Orloff thinks mall management should consider whether shoppers intend to buy something, rather than just considering a person’s age.
Beachwood Place asks teens to take this opportunity to spend more time with their families.
“We strive to create a safe, family-friendly environment for our guests and retailers,” Vitello wrote. “All are welcome at Beachwood Place at any time; we simply require that during certain hours, families spend their shopping time together.”
This PGR system has affected sales for some businesses. Companies such as Chick-Fil-A have noted that weekend sales have slowed.
“It has hit us pretty hard on the weekends,” a Chick-Fil-A manager said. “The kids that want Chick-Fil-A will now come during weekdays, so we haven’t been hurt too bad, but our weekend business has gone down for sure.”
Vitello seems to disagree.
“PGR has been well-received by our tenants,” she wrote.
“The PGR program will be in place for the foreseeable future,” she added.
Chik-Fil-A is one of many Beachwood Place businesses that reap the financial benefits of having teenagers roaming around the mall with money in their pockets.
Only time will tell the dip in sales will be outweighed by an improved climate at the mall on Friday and Saturday nights.
But it looks like this sixteen-year-old reporter will have to wait a couple years to find out.