Shop, dine, gamble and stay at Syracuse’s Destiny USA
When is a shopping center not just a shopping center? When it is also an obstacle course, a karting track, a seaside resort and a restaurant paradise.
You could spend days at Destiny USA in Syracuse, literally.
This mall is huge, 2.4 million square feet. And our adventure begins on the third floor, the entertainment level.
“Our goal is to create the most outrageous racing experience for anyone who is or isn’t, or would love to be – a runner and that’s really, I think … the key,” Karen Davis-Farage, co-owner of RPM Chemin de Rouleau.
These indoor go-karts have been racing around the track here since 2012. RPM Raceway was one of the first non-traditional businesses to open here after Destiny’s expansion. After a year of navigating the pandemic, staff are ready to step on the gas.
“We really had to restart,” said Davis-Farage, “and put a lot of time and effort into rehire him and get him back to where he was before COVID.”
And the rest of the mall is picking up speed as well. Over 250 retail stores, 45 different food and coffee options, 18 entertainment venues and a carousel built in 1909, it is the eighth largest mall in the country. And rather than competing with the discount malls, Destiny USA invited 21 of them inside.
But this mall, impressive as it is, has not been immune to the restrictions linked to the pandemic in 2020 and relentless competition from online retailers. And with 25% of sales coming from Canadian shoppers, the extended border closure prepared the mall for a financial blow … that was until something unexpected happened.
Foot traffic from those desperate to get out of their homes more than made up for the loss of business north of the border. And while most malls fear online retailing, Destiny sees an opportunity.
“We see that the trend is different here, as a lot of online stores are setting up in a physical location,” said Nikita Jankowski of Destiny USA. in brick and mortar. “
“I think there is so much to say about an experience today, and this is the business we’re in,” said Davis-Farage.