The nightmare is now over for store owners inside the Garden Walk Mall in downtown Chico. It was December 20th when a sprinkler pipe ruptured inside the building, flooding the mall and the 12 stores inside. " I was really in shock when I got down here. I had no idea how much damage there was right at the very beginning", said Garden Walk Mall owner Tom Hall.
Massive water damage was done to the mall and most of the stores. CleanRite BuildRite crews worked night and day to clear out the water, ripping up carpets, tearing apart walls and even removing asbestos from old floor tiling. After months of renovation, the mall is back up and running and celebrated Saturday with a grand re-opening. " Out of the ashes rises the Phoenix, I really feel the place is beautiful, we are in a position now that we have never been in", said Steve Catterall, Old Time Gold Owner.
Those who stopped by for the celebration say the mall is looking better than ever. " It's really clean and everything shows really nicely and I think it's important for people if they didn't come today, they com and look at all the merchandise", said Chico resident Joan Chase.
Butte County Supervisor Larry Wahl was also on hand. " It's always been a center place of downtown shopping no matter the occasion and it is again", Wahl.
Saturday's festivities included huge sales, and even a wind machine booth where guests won prizes and coupons. It's been a long road for merchants, but their efforts and patience have paid off. " These folks were hit the week before Christmas and if you're a merchant you know what that's like, but they were fantastic to work with, they really hung in there", said Bob Batterzzato, CleanRite BuildRite Marketing Director.
And while this past Christmas was a bust, the owner says Christmas 2012 will be better than ever.