Hudson Valley Mall Empty During Peak Shopping Season
Where is everybody? Shocking photos show a once-thriving Hudson Valley area mall completely empty on a Sunday afternoon during the holiday shopping season.
I gotta say, I was shocked to be scrolling through Facebook this past Sunday afternoon to notice a post from friend and PDH listener Christopher Lortz from Port Ewen. The post was about his trip to the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston with his wife Michele, where he was met with pretty much a completely empty building. Nobody was seen walking around, it was just the two of them. It was like they had a private VIP shopping experience for themselves. Of the 20 or so comments on Christopher Lortz's post, many people described the empty mall as "sad" and "weird". One person joked that it's "good for social distancing".
Christopher tells me he went to the mall just to pick up a video game at GameStop, where he encountered just one employee. He walked into the food court and there wasn't a single soul in sight. He then walked up to the area by the old JCPenney's and didn't see anyone. He saw a couple of people getting a haircut, but not a single person walking around.
The Hudson Valley Mall opened in Ulster County in 1981 on one level with 19 stores and restaurants as well as a 12 screen theater. It's the only enclosed mall located between Poughkeepsie and Albany. Stores included Kmart, JCPenney, and Hess's. An expansion in 1989 brought in Sears as well as a new food court and other stores. Hess's went out in 1995 after filing bankruptcy and Kmart moved out of the mall as well. Filene's took the old Hess's spot the next year. The empty former Kmart spot would be divided up and filled by Best Buy (in 2000) and Dick's Sporting Goods (in 2001). Target built a new shop adjacent to the space in 2001 as well. The region gained its first Macy's in 2006 when they bought out the existing Filene's. JCPenney closed up shop and left the mall in 2015 with Macy's following suit in 2016.
2018: Sears closed up shop and Regal closed the movie theater that had been operating since the mall's opening.
2019: The former Macy's space was partially demolished. It now houses a Hudson River Healthcare office.
2020: Best Buy closed up shop.
2021: The mall's only anchor stores today are Dick's Sporting Good's and Target.
It's sad to see, but malls in America have seemed to be dying for some time now. Could it be the end soon for the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston? It sure looks that way.