There are no ifs, ands or buts about it: Calgarians love their malls. And considering the fierce competition in this category, Chinook Centre must be doing something right, having won both Calgary’s love and top honours as the “best place for serious shopping days” and the “best place to keep yourself entertained while your significant other shops.”
Actually, they are doing a lot of things right. Chinook Centre is home to over 220 stores, 35 unique to market retailers, seven full service restaurants, Nordstrom, Hudson's Bay, Cineplex theatres, and the bowling centre. It's a shopping centre that hits both high-end and accessible, on-trend fashion, a fun, social gathering place (which you will have noticed if you’ve ever visited after school or on the weekend) and is centrally located in the city’s southwest.
One main factor in Chinook’s ability to keep people entertained, is the fact that the nearly 1.35 million-square-foot facility houses such a diverse group of stores, restaurants and services, that there’s bound to be something to spark the interest of almost anyone.
A “perfect day” game plan at Chinook could (and should) vary vastly depending on who you ask, but for CF Chinook Centre’s General Manager and working mom of two young boys, Paige O'Neill, it goes a little something like this: “It would begin with parking at the back of the mall or taking advantage of the weekend valet service, grabbing a latte at one of my favorite coffee shops (four to choose from), walking through the centre doing a little window shopping until something catches my eye and going in to try on that amazing dress or pair of trendy heels. I’d meet up with some of my friends for Bazille’s amazing lunch service, do a little more shopping, this time getting their advice on that dress and heels, while we plan our evening which could include a movie or some fun glow bowling.”
For the family set there are the eclectic flying machines in the food court, with descriptions of the planes, that are always a wonder to watch for young children and for those who are curious. A ride on the carousel for the young (or just young at heart) is a fun adventure, too. The Dinosaur at our main entrance is a great Kodak moment for families, as his eyes glow red when people walk by. “My boys (eight and 10) enjoy their trips to take in all of the above – Boston Pizza, a few games in the Bowladrome and sometimes an afternoon movie,” O’Neill says.
Whether shopping till you drop at retailers like Kate Spade, Harry Rosen, Apple, Microsoft, Coach, Tory Burch, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Tiffany, Sephora is your idea of a good time, or you’re more about catching a flick, hitting the bowling lanes or enjoying a quality meal at one of Chinook Centre’s numerous restaurants, there’s no shortage of enjoyable and entertaining options at this mall.
“CF Chinook Centre is really a city within a city,” says O’Neill. “With 56 years of history behind its doors, Chinook is an icon and testament to Calgary's past, current and future success.” It’s also a testament to the fact that Calgarians have been, are and always will be unabashed mall people.