While shoppers are mapping out their strategies for Black Friday sales that actually start Thanksgiving Day, police and management at Tanger Outlets are trying to avoid the past traffic tie-ups that frustrated customers.
For the second year, a complimentary shuttle will be operating from a lot at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino to the outlets on Tanger Boulevard.
“It really went well last year, and we got a lot of positive feedback,” said Jodi Dague, general manager at Tanger. “We are really promoting the shuttle as a door-to-door service.”
While expecting a lot of shoppers, Dague said she is not sure how the earlier opening of other stores in the area, as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers game Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, will affect traffic.
Dague said electronic message boards placed on Racetrack Road will alert drivers coming off both Interstate 79 and Washington Road (Route 19) that they can opt for the casino lot.
Shoppers will use the lot by the new parking garage. Dague said the casino is making all the spaces available in that lot for those headed to the outlets.
“Three shuttles will run continuously between the casino lot and the outlets from 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday for shoppers and employees,” Dague said, adding that the stores open at 10 p.m. “There are three pick-up and drop-off locations at each facility.”
At Tanger, shoppers can be dropped off at three main entrances to the outlet.
Those who choose to try their luck at parking in the lot at Tanger will be directed to open spots.
South Strabane Township police Officer Carmine Molinaro said officers had to close the road going up the hill to Tanger only briefly last year, an improvement over past years.
“It was pretty smooth going in and out,” Molinaro said. “Be courteous. Be calm. You’ll get in and out of there.”
North Strabane police also will be assisting with traffic control at Tanger.
Some South Strabane police officers won’t be at the television set watching football Thursday night. Instead, they will be manning the sales at Walmart in Trinity Point and Target in Strabane Square. Molinaro reminds shoppers heading to those locations to also be courteous in the trafficways, as well as inside the stores.
“We didn’t have any problems last year,” he added.