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American Dream mall reopens, seeking to regain momentum

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When the American Dream megamall opened in New Jersey last autumn, visitors could only gape at its unfinished signature attraction: a massive DreamWorks-themed waterpark with room for up to 5,600 bathers.

A year and a global pandemic later, Benkos Quinones, his wife and two small children had the place largely to themselves as the mall officially reopened Thursday after a six-month closure due to the coronavirus crisis.

“After everything that’s been going on, we just wanted to have some family time together,” Quinones said as his wife and two small children splashed in the waves behind him. Only a few dozen others cavorted in the cavernous space.

“Of course, I was concerned,” Quinones said about the risk of being in a public place with the virus still circulating. “We asked ourselves a lot of questions, whether we should really go forward and buy tickets to

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  • October 4, 2020
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As London struggles to regain its mojo, Treehouse is blazing the trail for hotels in the city

Treehouse hotel, London
Treehouse hotel, London

I felt a twinge of apprehension as I walked towards Treehouse in London for my first hotel stay since lockdown. Not because I was afraid of catching coronavirus, more because the thought that hotels, like the high street, would be condemned to a drab and depressing “new normal” had filled me with dread for weeks.

Treehouse, a relatively new hangout that opened in September last year, is just off a stretch of Marylebone that is usually heaving with students from the London College of Fashion, and BBC staffers nipping into Pret A Manger. But on this blistering summer’s day it was chillingly deserted, save for a few workmen digging up part of the road.

When I stepped into the ground-floor café – which, for the time being, doubles up as the check-in desk – it was as if I was both entering the post-millennial era and going

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