ST. CLAIRSVILLE - In the works since 2009 and under major construction since February, the Ohio Valley Mall's grand re-opening was held Saturday afternoon, unveiling the aesthetic upgrades and new touches added to the facility.
Local dignitaries, along with representatives from the Caffaro Company were on hand for the ceremony, which was held at 11 a.m. at center court.
Also on hand was Erik Estrada, the co-star of the famed CHIPS television series. Estrada actually cut the ribbon, staying afterward to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
THE?OFFICIAL ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ohio Valley Mall’s grand re-opening was held Saturday afternoon in center court. From left are Orphy Klempa from Project Best, Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland, Erik Estrada, commissioner Ginny Favede, Major Louis Patrick from the Salvation Army and Anthony Caffaro Jr. from the Caffaro Company.
A short distance away, Caroline Sunshine, Tinka from the Disney Channel hit show Shake It Up!, signed autographs and met with fans.
Co-President Anthony Caffaro Jr. from the Caffaro Company spoke briefly with the large gathering in the center of the mall, remarking on all the upgrades.
"The place looks great and we are very proud of the results," Caffaro said. "We hope you enjoy it.
"It's because of your support that this has been possible."
Joe Bell, the director of corporate communications for Caffaro, added that, "This will position the Ohio Valley Mall for the 21st century."
From the ceiling to the floor, renovations where mall-wide. Improvements included: a skylight, modern lighting systems, a new roof plus carpeted flooring and new tile throughout the grounds.
The exterior also received an upgrade with additional seating and landscaping.
Caffaro said during the February announcement of the upgrades that the purpose of the additional amenities was aimed at making the mall a more pleasant and pleasurable experience for both customers and merchants.
"We heard from countless people they needed their mall back, they wanted it back," Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland said. "When I met with the Anthony Caffaro, I told him that if they would invest in Belmont County then we would invest in them.
"They did that. They reinvested in the mall because they believe in us and that we can make this mall No. 1."
Fellow commissioner Ginny Favede added that, "This isn't just an investment in the mall, but in Belmont County. This mall has been part of our lives for as long as we can remember and this will allow it to remain so for many years to come."
More activities are planned for today with Spiderman and Captain America making an appearance from noon until 2 p.m. at the promotional court, followed by Thor and Iron Man from 3-5 p.m.
Tingles the Clown will be making balloon animals from 1-4 p.m. and a magic show will be held at 2 p.m.