Why a giant new slide is so important to Aventura Mall — and what it’s like to ride it

Why a giant new slide is so important to Aventura Mall — and what it’s like to ride it

That giant 93-foot glass-and-steel slide that’s been tantalizing shoppers at Aventura Mall for months is finally ready to ride.

The “Aventura Slide Tower,” which was designed by German sculptor Carsten Höller and the Miami firm Permuy Architecture, opened to the public Dec. 15 — the crowning touch in the first phase of Aventura Mall’s ambitious, $214 million expansion. Additions include a luxurious food hall, a covered parking garage, art installations and several new, world-famous tenants.

Neil Gilchrist, 15, reacts after going down a new 93-foot-tall slide at Aventura Mall on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. Aventura Slide Tower, which is free for anyone to use, is part of a three-story wing expansion at the mall. The move added new restaurants, retail stores and an outdoor fountain.
Neil Gilchrist, 15, reacts after going down a new 93-foot-tall slide at Aventura Mall on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. Aventura Slide Tower, which is free for anyone to use, is part of a three-story wing expansion at the mall. The move added new restaurants, retail stores and an outdoor fountain.

 

Expanding a mall in an era when the retail industry is struggling seems counter-intuitive — if not downright wacky. But Aventura’s new 315,000-square-foot wing follows the success of other brick-and-mortar shopping centers that are seeking to provide entertainment beyond shopping. The idea is to make the word “mall” synonymous with a social outing — much as it was when malls themselves were a novelty.

 

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