Crowds Flock to Tanger Outlets on First Day

Opening with plenty of time to spare before Black Friday

National Harbor's Tanger Outlets saw crowds of thousands of shoppers Friday, on the stores' first day in business.

The outlets opened at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting, and then kept up the festivities with holiday fashion package giveaways.

Friday night, there was a holiday music and fireworks show.

Crowds were thick, and Prince George's County Police were at the mall early to assist with directing traffic. Just minutes before the mall opened, only 250 spots were left in the shopping center's parking lot. The police department tweeted throughout the morning to let shoppers know what lots on the property had spots available.

"We have put a lot of thought and have made it truly a priority to ensure that the ease of our customers getting in and out of this property is top of mind," said general manager Christi Wallace.

The 340,000-square-foot outdoor mall features more than 85 designer outlet stores, such as Coach and Ralph Lauren, and will bring in about 900 new jobs. The outlets held a job fair in September to recruit for the new positions.

The Peterson Company, which owns National Harbor, began construction in November 2012, although some were disappointed by the project.

Fort Washington and Oxon Hill residents filed lawsuits to stop the construction, but a judge in Prince George's County Circuit Court ruled in favor of the Tanger Outlets. He said that halting the project would have a negative economic impact on the county. The residents have appealed.

Tanger Outlets expects 20,000 cars to visit the outlet mall, daily. All that shopping is expected to generate more than $6 million in tax revenue for Prince George's County.

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