Emily Dougan and Amanda Seibel got to CrossIron Mills at 6 a.m. for the grand opening yesterday to get free swag as doors opened.

Both girls received free T-shirts from Banana Republic along with a free reusable bag, given to shoppers at entrances, with deals and coupons inside that can be used throughout the week and coming months.

“We thought it’d be really exciting to come on opening day. They’ve been billing it for a really long time and we really wanted to see it,” said Seibel.

Dougan was impressed that the theme and decoration throughout the mall focus on Alberta.

It takes 2.7 kilometres to walk a full circle at CrossIron Mills as it weaves through five different neighbourhoods: Fashion, ranch, resources, fossil and sport, with corresponding stores and architectural features. The features include life-size figures of a caveman frozen in ice, a lit fire and cowboys hanging from the ceiling.

“We want to make this a really dynamic and exciting experience for the consumer as they walk around,” said John Scott, vice-president of development for Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Chad Morgan was impressed by the design and artwork, and the variety of stores the mall offered, such as a specialty tea store.

“It’s a nice change from the Calgary malls where they are all the same with a Chapters, RW&Co., etc.”

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