LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — Many of you might be looking to spend this chilly weekend out shopping or a night out at the movies, and up until a few years ago, the area near the outlets of Little Rock was not exactly the most popular place for those activities.
"It's always a wonderful thing to have new neighbors. We have watched kind of a lot of phases of development coming into play,” Kiki Mannear with the Outlets of Little Rock said.
The outlets only opened a few years ago, and already the area around it has almost turned into its own city.
"Little Rock is putting itself on the map,” Mannear said. "Traffic is increasing just because the buzz is to come to this area. We've got restaurants, movie theaters. Dave and Busters. Bass Pro."
Mannear said places like the Movie Tavern are firsts for Arkansas.
"The movie tavern was a really unique concept that they rolled out with us,” Mannear said
Empty storefronts are also popping up for new stores to move into, including a brand new H & M.
"With them coming we've actually expanded our retail square footage to bring them on board,” Mannear said.
Next to all the new developments is also a brand new Hilton Hotel going in by the Movie Tavern. This hotel is a first of its kind in the area.
Just outside the outlet mall are also new places to eat, including Texas-based steakhouse Saltgrass. It opened its first Arkansas restaurant Thursday.
"We're excited to finally get to open here and just excited about being a part of the community here,” Vice President Robert Brakemeier said.
Brakemeier said being a part of the hustle and bustle of the outlets was fitting for the restaurant's atmosphere.
"We really like this energy of the shopping centers and being able to share the parking lot with other restaurants,” Brakemeier said. "Growth is great in any economic community,y so we're happy to be a part of that and we hope it continues to grow. We all win when we have more traffic from our guests and community."
The new H&M is expected to open at noon Feb. 8 at 12 p.m.