The bad news won’t stop coming for the American Dream Mall in New Jersey. One of the world’s largest malls saw the roof of its indoor ski area, Big SNOW, catch fire on early Saturday morning. The good news: No one was in the building at the time of the fire, meaning no injuries or deaths. The fire was also extinguished without engulfing the structure. The bad news? The fire ripped through a small portion of the roof of the building, meaning it will have to be rebuilt before it can reopen. The sixteen story, one hundred and eighty thousand square foot building has cooling systems and snowmaking that keep the hill at a consistent twenty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. The ski area will be closed until at least October 2nd, but based on the damage from the photos below, it could be much longer.
Happening now HHFD at work on the roof of the American Dream mall in East Rutherford pic.twitter.com/lSMDRWa1JH
— Hasbrouck Hts Fire (@Heightsfd) September 25, 2021
The history of Big SNOW and the American Dream Mall has been tumultuous. The structure took over two decades to built, ran through multiple lawsuits and ownership changes, and finally opened its doors in 2019. Add in construction delays, the pandemic, a challenging commute for locals and tourists, and the retail apocalypse, the mall has struggled to gain its footing. Some cool things have opened up, like the indoor ski area, an amusement park themed to Nickeloden, a water park themed to Dreamworks, an ice skating rink, mini-golf courses, luxury shops, and other neat attractions. But much of the mall is still abandoned, and the ownership group is struggling financially following this massive gamble. I hate to be a pessimist, and I really want to see this place live up to its potential as one of the best tourist attractions in the country. Based on the mall’s endless construction timeline though, I wouldn’t expect a reopening to the ski area for at least a month. Image Credits: East Rutherford Fire Department, Big SNOW American Dream, Hasbrouck Hghts Dpt.