What Happened? A Trip to Rimrock Mall in Billings Was Depressing
Today, the big boss of Townsquare Media Billings and I decided to go shopping. For what? Well, our newest station, Mix 97.1, is hosting their "Epic Mixer" tomorrow (Saturday, November 12th) and the theme is 90's & 2K. So... of course he needs to come to the event dressed up.
What I didn't expect, after not visiting Rimrock Mall since LAST DECEMBER... was just how bad off the mall is. Let me explain.
What happened to the businesses?
Walking into the main entrance of the mall, I immediately noticed something was missing. What happened to Freefall Brewery? Remember that place? They opened in the beginning of 2020, through much hype to revitalize the mall. But just two years later, it's an empty shell. It seems they just disappeared, as I cannot find any coverage of the closure. What a shame.
Inside the doors, in the food court, many of the once occupied spots are now blank. Looking at the Interactive Map on Rimrock Mall's website, the only remaining eateries are Flaming Wok, Bob's Pizza and Neon Pretzel. All others are covered up with false walls, or simply shuttered.
Rimrock Mall avoids foreclosure
Apparently I was in an alternative timeline back in February, and missed this, but according to the Billings Gazette the mall gained new management after Starwood Capital worked out a deal to transfer ownership and avoid foreclosure. The new management, Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc is a real estate services company in Chicago. They now control the mall, and have been leasing out the blank spaces... or at least, they have tried.
Not what it used to be
After walking around looking for clothes to suit the event tomorrow, going to what remaining stores offered something we were looking for, we ended up back in Buckle after visiting once. The employees joked about us being back so soon, as they seemingly acknowledged the sad state of Rimrock Mall. We did end up buying items from Buckle, Hot Topic, and Dillard's to make this themed look work. But just a few short years ago, the selection would have been MUCH wider.
When did you visit the mall last?
If you haven't been to the mall in awhile, I encourage you to visit it, and take a look for yourself. Being there at 11 am, when the shops are supposed to be open, and seeing nobody excited to be working was a shame. Seeing a quarter of the mall void of stores? Even sadder. Let us know on the app, or Facebook, what you think.