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LAS VEGAS PREMIUM OUTLETS NORTH

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Union Park

875 S. Grand Central Pkwy

Las Vegas, NV 89106

702-474-7500

website

Mon-Sat 10am-9pm

Sun 10am-8am

Outlet Mall

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

An upscale outlet mall. Isn't that an oxymoron? Well, kinda. Basically what you have is a lot of very expensive retailers who are selling out of season, extra stock, and slightly irregular merchandise at slightly less expensive prices.

Where is it?

In the Union Park area of Downtown Las Vegas.

What do they sell?

A little bit of everything but very heavy on the clothes. Here are a few examples of stores: Adidas, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Diesel, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Gap, Guess, Hugo Boss, J Crew, Juicy Coture, Kenneth Cole, Levi's, Tommy Hilfiger, Converse, Crocs, Reebok, Coach, TAG Heuer, Bose, L'Occitane, and Godiva (no the chocolate isn't out of season).

What are the prices like?

Since the bulk of the retailers sell merchandise that is normally very expensive, the slightly less expensive prices are still pretty expensive. Having said that you will usually pay a little less than you will in the regular stores.

What should I be sure to check out?

You can never go wrong at a Calvin Klein outlet.

Why should I shop here?

Because you absolutely must have a True Religion t-shirt and you don't want to pay full price for one.

What else do I need to know?

This is an outdoor mall - pay attention to the weather forecast before you go.

What's the bottom line?

If you love outlet malls, you'll probably love this one.

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FULL REVIEW

As far as retail heaven goes, the Las Vegas Premium Outlets offer a good shot at attaining shopping nirvana. With more than 150 stores offering discounts on name brand merchandise - much of it high-end merchandise - the outlets here will keep your spending spree soul nourished and your credit card balances high but perhaps not as high as if you were paying full price.

Located near Downtown Las Vegas at Charleston and Interstate 15, the center completed a major expansion in 2008, adding a bunch of new outlets and two big parking structures that seem to have done nothing to alleviate one of the two major problems I have with this place. More on that in a moment.

On the menu here are plenty of recognizable names; stores you'll find in just about any mall and stores you will usually only find on Rodeo Drive. A few examples: Adidas, Calvin Klein, Dolce and Gabbana, Juicy, Puma, Timberland, Gymboree, Coach luggage, Zales diamonds, Bose electronics, and Swarovski crystal. Inside each you'll find discontinued, off-season, and slightly irregular merchandise that can sometimes cost you less than half what you'd pay if you bought it in the regular stores, although to be realistic most of the savings will be less than that. But hey, saving is saving, especially with gas over $4 a gallon.

The two things that keep this place from reaching true retail heaven status are the aforementioned parking issues and the fact that someone forgot to put a roof on the place.

Prior to the expansion the parking lot was almost always full and sometimes required use of an overflow lot across the street. Now with the two big parking structures you'd think that would've eased things a bit, but every time I have tried to visit, traffic in and out of the place has been a nightmare and spaces to wedge the SUV were scarce. I even saw people parking in a gravel lot next door just to avoid the mess. This is definitely a place you should consider taking a cab to and from - let the taxi driver focus on the traffic while you get your shopping Zen on.

But before you get in that cab, you may want to check the weather forecast first. Just in case anybody wasn't aware, it gets really hot in Las Vegas and while there are a few shade canopies and misters, it doesn't do a lick of good when wandering the concrete jungle of stores while it's 110 degrees outside. I can say from experience that it makes things like trying on a pair of leather pants a really unpleasant experience. It also rains in Vegas (as it was on a recent visit of mine) and gets chilly and windy during the winter, all of which conspires to keep this place just shy of true shopping heaven.

What's just outside of shopping heaven? Shopping purgatory? I don't know.

But true shopping zealots won't let little things like heat stroke get in the way of their quest and if you're one of them, the Las Vegas Premium Outlets offer the closest thing you'll find to retail bliss in town.

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