SLIDESHOW: Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass open for business - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass open for business

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SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Kentucky's only outlet mall is now open for business.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Thursday as the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass opened at 10 a.m., but by that time, most people were already lined up outside the stores. 

We spoke with some of the first shoppers, like Kelly Fitchett from Simpsonville.

Fitchett says she wasn't surprised by the large turnout. 

"I think there'll be a lot more throughout the day," Fitchett said. 

Chris Rogers, on the other hand, was surprised by the turnout, but wondered where his friends were. 

"Honestly, I'm a little surprised myself -- I'm surprised I don't see all my friends racking up, trying to get to Nike, Areopostale, that kind of stuff," Rogers said. "I'm kind of surprised, but it's definitely a nice turnout, I'll give it that."

Although there were plenty of crowds, there were no traffic tie-ups.

"There was a lot of news about how crowded it was going to be, but I'm sure some people have held back," but I think we have also done a good job of moving traffic around here," said Gary Skoien with Horizon Properties.

There's a plan in place to tackle the problem of parking, as 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected to come shop here each day through Sunday.  One solution is overflow parking and shuttle services that will be available to shoppers. Plus, employees will be parking off site at least through Sunday and be shuttled in to save more spots for customers.

Even bigger crowds are expected over the weekend.

"This weekend will be the test," said Simpsonville Police Chief Chip Minnis. "Saturday, with everyone being off, you can expect a lot of folks coming out."

Gina Slechta with Horizon Properties says they're ready for the crowds. 

"We've got lots of help to move the traffic along -- state police, local police and our own security," Slechta said. "We've got over 6,000 parking spaces reserved, and we've moved all the employees off the lot so we can roll out the red carpet for everyone. 

Slechta is expecting about 40,000 people to visit the new mall this weekend, but says there's plenty of room. 

"The shopping center is really big," Slechta said. "It's 375,000 square feet so there's lots of room when you get inside, and I don't think you'll feel the pressure of the crowds." 

For people who don't feel like dealing with the traffic, but still want to shop, the mall is providing a full-time shuttle. 

"If you've got a group of friends you've put together, you can have your own little bus party," Slechta said. "We'll come and pick you up and bring you to the shopping center. All you have to do is call us. That'll be up and running for the public, starting Monday. We can pick you up at hotels, college -- there's just no end to where we can pick you up." 

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is about 30 minutes east of Louisville, and is the only outlet mall in Kentucky. Expect lines and crowds, if you do go to the grand opening. For example, the Coach store was at capacity with 100 people during the VIP night and the grand opening.

There will be more than 90 stores and restaurants at the mall, but a few won't open until the fall.  Some of the stores include: Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Ghiradelli, Ann Taylor, Gymboree, Michael Kors, J. Crew, White House Black Market, Nike, Old Navy, Osh Kosh B'Gosh and many more.

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