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Valley News Dispatch

Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail leaves struggling Frazer mall, gift card announcement expected

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, 8:54 a.m.
The Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail is the latest tenant to leave the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills Mall in Frazer. The attraction announced on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, that it would be their last day.
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The Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail is the latest tenant to leave the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills Mall in Frazer. The attraction announced on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, that it would be their last day.

The Pittsburgh Mills mall has lost another tenant — this time, an attraction.

The Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail announced on its Facebook page Sunday that it would be their last day.

"We would like to thank everyone for supporting us over the past few years," the post said. "Our time in Pittsburgh is coming to an end today. We are so grateful for the amazing staff and guests we have had!"

Ian Milanak, operations manager for Sky Trail Management and Development, said a "hodgepodge" of issues coming together at once lead to the decision to leave the mall.

Among them was the upcoming expiration of their lease, he said.

"We just decided from a business standpoint it was a good time to go ahead and step out of that location," he said. "It wasn't the best place for us to be right now."

Milanak said the company would put more focus on its other locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and a new location closer to its home office in Michigan. There are no other locations in the Pittsburgh area.

Milanak said removal of the equipment would begin Monday night, and take three days to finish.

The Sky Trail had opened in the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills' food court in 2015. At the time, the Frazer mall was said to be the first mall in the state to offer the 32-foot aerial Sky Trail Explorer, an all-ages adventure rope course.

It included rope ladders and cargo nets to climb, a zigzag beam on which to balance, a plank to leap off and a zipline. Sky Tykes, a scaled-down version of the full course, was designed for children.

Like many of the mall's storefronts, much of its food court is vacant. Houlihan's, Johnny Rockets and Starbucks are among the businesses that have left the food court.

The closing announcement was met with sadness and surprise. Many commenting on Facebook said they wished there had been more advance notice.

Some of those commenting on Facebook said they were holding gift cards for the attraction.

Milanak said the company expects to have a plan finalized in two days for how to handle them.

Mall mortgage holder Wells Fargo foreclosed on the 1.1 million-square-foot property in November 2015.

In January, the bank took over ownership of the mall in a "consensual foreclosure," which featured the dramatic occurrence of the mall "selling" for only $100 at a public auction.

"We're just waiting for it to be put on the market," said Lori Ziencik, a supervisor for Frazer Township, which has its offices and police station inside the mall.

While a Halloween shop opened in the mall, Ziencik said she has not seen temporary businesses come in for Christmas, as has happened in previous years.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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