Ross Park Mall holiday train's retirement upsets shoppers
Some parents say they are upset that a children's ride-along train that for years was part of Ross Park Mall's winter holiday display has come to the end of the line.
The mall is replacing its old holiday decor with a $250,000 display that features iPads loaded with holiday-themed games, mall officials said. The new configuration cannot accommodate the train, Ross Park said.
“I'm pretty upset with Ross Park, so I might just stay away,” said Heather Seidel, 31, of McCandless, who normally takes her daughters, Hayley, 5, and Lindsey, 4, to Ross Park to ride the train two or three times during the holiday season.
Seidel was among about 20 people who posted Facebook comments expressing their dissatisfaction on Thursday and Friday. The mall's operators stood by their decision.
“We are excited to have a new, fun home for Santa. Through the years, customers have asked when we would be changing our decor, and we listened to their comments and hope they enjoy Santa's bright new home and the trimmings,” the mall said in a prepared statement.
The new display will include a sleigh on which Santa Claus will sit, iPads with holiday-themed games for children and a towering Christmas tree, according to the mall.
“I can't just imagine taking my 4-year-old and letting him play with an iPad (in the mall),” said Ross resident Robyn Jenkins, 33, who takes her son Blake to Ross Park during the holiday season.
Holiday lights will be on the upper and lower levels of the common area, mall manager Lisa Earl said.
Studio Artefact, a Montreal-based company, designed the new decor.
It will be revealed on Monday. Santa will arrive on Friday.
The old holiday decor package was 14 years old, Earl said.
The leased train was part of the mall's decor package for seven years, according to mall officials.
Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. owns Ross Park Mall, which is off McKnight Road, and South Hills Village on Route 19 in Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair.
South Hills Village, Pittsburgh Mills in Frazer and Monroeville Mall are some of the malls that will have holiday trains for children this holiday season.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Longtime Ross building-code official fired by commissioners
- Restaurant takes action with cracked West View sidewalk
- Ross 5K event, fun run to promote fitness for children
- Planning commission doesn’t favor updated plan
- Opening winery dream come true for Hampton man
- Photo Gallery: Superhero Day at McIntyre Elementary
- Ross teen has story to tell — and a magazine cover to prove it
- Hampton 6th-grader shines at computer fair
- Shaler Area students shine in Integration Bee
- New location in Ross enables store to continue mission of helping women
- North Star Kids show to benefit Flight 93 Memorial Chapel