Shoppers to descendon $40m extension Lismore Square grand opening today
By NERIDA BLOK
IT WAS a case of enjoying a bit of quiet time for Nicci Cowle and her team of Colorado workers yesterday before the masses descend.
With the $40 million extensions to Lismore Shopping Square opening today, the clothing and footwear store celebrated with a chicken and salad lunch.
Ms Cowle, of Lismore, said she was excited to be part of the new centre.
"It's beautiful," she said. "And exactly what this town needs. Instead of our money going up to the Gold Coast, it can stay in town and help our economy."
Generating more than 800 retail jobs, the extensions include 35 new specialty shops and a 450-seat food court.
Russell McConchie, of Coffs Harbour, made the most of last-minute preparations to his cards and giftware shop, Xtreem.
Mr McConchie agreed the centre looked 'brilliant', but admitted a few late hiccups.
"We did have big problems with our phones," he said. "Not enough lines (from Telstra). For a com- munication group there was no communication."
However, he said the problem was solved last Thursday with an additional 500 lines put in.
Shopping centre developer Jim McConaghy was pleased with his project.
"It's right on schedule," he said. "On time and on budget."
Mr McConaghy said the centre aimed to create a free and friendly type atmosphere with 'the best retailers in Australia'.
Lismore mayor Merv King will open the centre this morning, with shops ready for business from 8am.