The Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs, CO – Shopping and Entertainment Icon

A Rich History of The Citadel Mall

For over 50 years, the Citadel Mall has been a central part of life in Colorado Springs, CO. It opened in 1972, anchored by a JCPenney and Denver Dry Goods store, and included a two-screen movie theater.

Over the years, the mall saw multiple expansions, from its initial 594,800 square feet to the current 1,095,000 sq ft. A testament to the city’s growth, it has transformed from a shopping center on its eastern edge to a bustling hub at the intersection of Platte and Academy.

Changing Hands and Expansions

The Citadel Mall has had several owners and management companies throughout its history. The Rouse Company owned the mall in the 1980s, and in 1984, the mall expanded westward, adding a two-level extension with a third anchor store, May-Daniels & Fisher, and a two-level food court.

Its last expansion occurred in 1995 with a three-level Dillard’s opening at the end of the western extension. In 1997, the Macerich Company acquired the mall and sold it to Midwest Mall Properties in 2007.

A Holiday Wonderland

From November 18 to December 25, 2005, the Citadel Mall hosted a massive Santa Tracking Village to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NORAD Tracks Santa program.

The event featured a 25-foot tree, a tracking map, a viewfinder for watching NORAD Tracks Santa videos, audio messages of peace from children worldwide, and a 24-page coloring book.

Anchor Tenants: Then and Now

Over the years, the Citadel Mall has seen various anchor tenants come and go. Some of the former anchors include:

  • Denver Dry Goods
  • Foley’s, formerly May D&F
  • Macy’s
  • Mervyn’s

The mall is anchored by Burlington, Dillard’s Clearance Center, and JCPenney. In 2015, Dillard’s downgraded to a clearance center, closing its upper two floors. In 2020, JCPenney was put up for sale but remained open.

Sign for the Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs
Duncan1800, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Table: Anchor Tenants Timeline

Year Event
1972 Mall opens with JCPenney and Denver Dry Goods
1984 May-Daniels & Fisher added
1995 Dillard’s added
2006 Mervyn’s closes
2006 Foley’s rebranded to Macy’s
2008 Steve & Barry’s closes
2009 Macy’s closes
2015 Dillard’s downgraded to a clearance center
2020 JCPenney put up for sale but remains open

Fun for the Whole Family

The Citadel Mall has always been a destination for families. A children’s soft play area is located on the mid-level in front of Burlington Coat Factory, where kids can enjoy sliding and crawling in a plush play area while parents relax in the soft seating area.

Satisfying Your Cravings

The Citadel Mall has diverse eateries, ensuring something for everyone. Here are just a few options you’ll find at the mall:

Eateries Cuisine Brief Description
Adobada Mexican Grill Mexican Authentic Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos, and nachos.
Arif Café Café A cozy café offering coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and salads.
Hooters American Known for its wings, burgers, and iconic atmosphere.
Milano Pizza & Italian Kitchen Italian Traditional Italian favorites, including pizza, pasta, and calzones.
Panda Express Chinese Fast-casual Chinese-American cuisine featuring dishes like orange chicken and chow mein.
PretzelMaker Snacks and Desserts Freshly baked pretzels, pretzel bites, and refreshing beverages.
Smoothie Paradise Smoothies and Juices Delicious and healthy smoothies, juices, and wellness shots.

The Citadel Mall covers you from quick bites to sit-down meals when hunger strikes.

A Sense of Community

Over the years, the Citadel Mall has been more than just a shopping destination. Instead, it has served as a gathering place for locals to spend time together, attend events, and create lasting memories.

As the mall continues to evolve, it remains a beloved part of the Colorado Springs community, inspiring nostalgia for closed or demolished establishments while encouraging excitement for the currently active ones.

Today, the Citadel Mall continues to be a symbol of Colorado Springs’ rich history and growth. Its blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment options makes it a perfect destination for families, friends, and tourists to come together and create new memories.

The Citadel Mall has faced a series of unfortunate incidents in recent years, mainly related to shootings. The family of a teen paralyzed in a shooting at the shopping center last year has filed a lawsuit against the mall’s owners, alleging substandard security practices.

The lawsuit claims that the mall failed to implement adequate safety measures, despite being aware of at least six shootings at The Citadel in the six-and-a-half years following the incident on May 12, 2022.

This tragic event is just one example of the gun violence at the Citadel Mall in recent years. The local community and visitors hope that increased security measures will be implemented to ensure the safety of everyone who visits this iconic Colorado Springs destination.

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Comments: 2
  1. Avatar of Andrea
    Andrea

    of all the attractions in Colorado Springs you choose the one with the most increase in violence in the last 3 years. Locals avoid it and if I were a tourist, I would be so disappointed to have used your article as reason to visit it. This article makes me not trust any of your recommendations.

    Reply
    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns about Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs. I appreciate your perspective as a local and understand the importance of considering safety when visiting attractions. I have this information in the last chapter, discussing the recent incidents. I also provided a link to a comprehensive list of these cases for readers to review. My goal in writing the article was to present a balanced view of the mall and its current situation, allowing readers to decide whether to visit.

      Reply
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