SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Management of the Louisiana Boardwalk is pushing back against the perception that the outdoor shopping center is full of empty storefronts.

“What I see is, like, not very much going on shopping-wise and or otherwise,” said one resident visiting the boardwalk Wednesday for the first time since the pandemic began. “You know, what was here before aren’t here now. And you know I don’t know if the Boardwalk necessarily losing its mystique or whatever, but it’s not the same.”

According to marketing manager Ashley Warner, there are 45 stores and restaurants currently open and only seven stores closed as a result of the pandemic. She also noted national retailers like Nike, Under Armor, Express, Levis, and other big names are still here.

“I think the perception is nothing is open, nothing’s here nobody’s coming, but we have a lot of people every weekend come shop at the boardwalk,” Warner said, pointing to Black Friday and popular upcoming holiday events, including the Holiday Magic Village photo experience opening Thursday, the Boardwalk Blizzard that will daily at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. November 17 through Jan. 2, and the Santa Coca Cola Truck Tour 2021 set for Saturday, Dec. 4.

Another store might open before the end of the year, according to Warner, with more expected to open during the first quarter of 2022.

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