SEARS is closing and now the options are endless at one end of the Acadiana Mall. Of course, another major department store will likely scoop up the space and open up without missing a beat. But, let's throw reason out the window and talk about some things we know will not replace. But a guy can wish right?

 

 

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    "Coullion World" Indoor Theme Park

    Featuring rides like “RedBull Pirogue” and “The Crawfish Pot Express”, Coullion World would be an indoor theme park featuring rides, food tents and midway games. No need to sweat at Coullion World, because shade will be unlimited and Auntie Anne’s pretzels just a stroll away in the mall. Parents rejoice! While you do your shopping at stores in the mall, you kids could be having the time of their lives. And summertime… no babysitter? Just drop your kids off to play the day away. You may be asking, how do you put a Ferris wheel inside? Well, this ride would take up both floors of the former SEARS store. Ragin’ Cajun beer would be on tap and gumbo as “good as your mama’s” will be served all day. Oh yeah, Coullion World is open 24/7/365.

    Zamperla
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    Permanent LADA Indoor Car Show

    Who doesn’t love the annual LADA car show? Cajun Field shut down for a week of wheelin’ and dealin’ by Lafayette’s best-known car dealers. Why not have the car show every day of the year. The LADA permanent indoor car show could give husbands and boyfriends alike a place to go while their significant others buy clothes, smell candles and body wash, or meet up with their friends for some “retail therapy”. The permanent LADA indoor car show will feature all the latest car models and the best deals available. Feel the need to buy something because you’re at the mall. Shop the rack of new car smells and take one home! Need an escape from all that is the mall experience, the LADA permanent indoor car show.

    Cajun Field, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, UL Baseball, LADA Car Show and Sale
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    World's Largest Chick-fil-A

    Let’s face it guys, this city loves its Chick-fil-A. I once saw a stat that the words “Chick-fil-A” and “Ambassador Caffery” are used more often in police accident reports than any other words. (Okay, I’m reaching a bit with that last stat.) But, what if the Hub City was home to the largest Chick-fil-A restaurant in the world. Yes, two stories and tens of thousands of square feet may seem excessive, but have you ever been to Chick-fil-A on Saturday during youth sports season? The place would be packed and there is already a trained staff of mall Chick-fil-A workers on-hand. Okay, this one may be a stretch, but how awesome would it be? Maybe one level could be the restaurant and the other level could house several real live Chick-fil-A cows. Just brainstorming here…

    Alex Wong, Getty Images
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    Indoor "Name Your Festival" Grounds

    The only thing we love more than Chick-fil-A in Acadiana are FESTIVALS. But festivals in South Louisiana come with some risks. You have parking, excessive heat, pop up showers, mosquitos and let’s face it… the lack of any form of enclosure. Picture this, what if the entire SEARS store was turned into an indoor festival. There could be an interchangeable sign out front that organizers could print with sponsors and logos. It is a match made in event planning heaven. No need to wait until day-of to set up the event. It’s pretty hard to be a closed off, air-conditioned venue that’s big enough for every festival queen’s tiara. But the parking benefits alone are worth it. Can someone pick me up in a golf cart? (Okay, I’m pushing it.)

    BBCrawfest.com
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    Apple Megastore

    Of all the awesome, world-class, in-demand retailers we have in Acadiana, we are missing one in particular. I can tell you, there is only one store that I regularly drive to Baton Rouge just to go to: The Apple Store. Besides convenience, can you imagine the tax impact of an Apple Store. Let’s say you sell 100 iPhones on opening day. At an average of $800 a pop, that is roughly $8,000 in sales tax collection. We need some of that in Lafayette. You probably have a similar question about how much space you need for an Apple store. Have you seen the people who line up outside in the elements for the new iPhones. Why not throw the Apple devotees a bone and let them line up in the mall. The options are seriously endless. WE. NEED. APPLE.

    Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
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    UL Lafayette South Campus

    UL Lafayette is far from a typical “commuter school” at this point, but what about an option that is more convenient to students living in South Lafayette, Youngsville and Vermilion Parish as a whole. You could probably put 50 classrooms and labs inside the space that is now occupied by SEARS. Think about it, you have bathrooms, escalators and parking lots. Add a couple white boards, some desks and a handful of professors and you have a conveniently located south campus. Majors such as marketing, fashion, architecture, and economics would be right at home within the walls of Acadiana Mall. Losing students due to their need to have a second job? Well they can work in the mall at one of the many fine retailers.

    UL Lafayette Quad (Facebook Photo)