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Happy Birthday, Cherry Creek!

For Cherry Creek Shopping Center's silver anniversary, we recall its stars, stumbles, and Santas.

By , , |

We can’t prove Cherry Creek Shopping Center helped rescue Denver from the ’80s oil bust and turned the Mile High City into the kind of place where a lady could buy a decent pashmina. But it didn’t hurt. For the mall’s silver anniversary, we combed the history books to recall the stars, stumbles, and Santas of its first 25 years.


August 1990

Cherry Creek Shopping Center attracts about 300,000 shoppers its opening weekend—double what had been projected. During Cindy Crawford’s appearance at the May D&F department store, the 24-year-old supermodel is asked to sign her Playboy spread. Classy, Denver.


November 1990

Cherry Creek anchors Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue bar the Salvation Army’s Santa-costumed bell ringers. “If we let them in, somebody else and then somebody else and somebody else would ask,” a Neiman spokeswoman tells the Denver Post. “It would just be too confusing.”


September 1992

Burglars steal $350,000 in jewelry from Neiman Marcus. Witnesses say the suspects rang bells and carried donation buckets. (Just kidding.)


May 1996

What’s more ’Merican than capitalism? At a little past noon on May 12, the Olympic Torch passes Saks at Cherry Creek Shopping Center on its way to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.


October 1996

Following overwhelming demand for its return, Cinnabon reopens inside Cherry Creek Shopping Center after an eight-month absence. “Customers say it doesn’t smell the same in here since Cinnabon left,” a Cherry Creek official explains to the Post.


August 2003

Cherry Creek Shopping Center hires Ryan Sutter, a Vail firefighter and winner of The Bachelorette (he’s actually still married to Trista Rehn), as a model for newspaper and magazine ads.


October 2004

Jamie Foxx buys shades at the Sunglass Hut in Cherry Creek while in town promoting Ray (in which he plays the ubiquitously sunglassed Ray Charles) at the Denver International Film Festival. That’s the kind of commitment to character that earns you an Oscar.


October 2007

The arrival of Nordstrom makes Cherry Creek the sixth retail center in the country to boast the grand slam of glam: Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s.


November 2009

Upset at being booted from Cherry Creek’s taxi stands because of the mall’s exclusive deal with two cab companies, more than 100 taxi drivers protest by encircling the mall and hitting their horns. Cherry Creek offers to let the companies back in if they agree to the same deal; they pass.


October 2015

Furniture chain Restoration Hardware opens RH Denver, the Gallery at Cherry Creek, in the spot formerly occupied by Saks. Modeled on classical architecture, the gigantic store (one of five in the country) is the centerpiece of Cherry Creek Shopping Center’s 90,000-square-foot redevelopment.

—Photo credits: (Jamie Foxx; Cindy Crawford; Ryan Sutter) Shutterstock; (Santa; shopping bag; frame; flame; jewelry; taxi; Burgler) istock; (torch) Courtesy of Wikipedia

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