HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Raffles, games and a performance from the Hattiesburg High School Orchestra. It’s all because of the Turtle Creek Mall opened its doors 25 years ago.
Turtle Creek Mall General Manager Stacy Woodard said the economic impact has been really good for the mall as it is in the top five of tax revenue for the city of Hattiesburg.
“The economic impact for the mall been really good,” said Woodard. “We're the fourth or fifth largest tax revenue for the city of Hattiesburg. We have good traffic, we have good sales, we have a good line-up of tenants."
One of the reasons why Turtle Creek is celebrating this milestone is because they currently have over 2,000 employees to date.
One sales associate at Belk has worked at the same location since the doors opened in 1994.
“Well for me, I love people, and I can truly say I love my job, and I love people," said Belk sales associate Katie Smith. "And Belk, to me, is a great place to work.”
Katie Smith’s colleague also has worked alongside her for many years. She said everyone looks forward to seeing Katie when they come into the store.
"Everybody looks for Ms. Katie," said Jackie Thrash, Smith’s long-time colleague.
“If Ms. Katie is not here, they may [not] come back,” said Smith. “They might not even buy anything. So, I have to be here for my customers.”
“All they have to do is walk in the door and they hear her," said Thrash. “They know she’s here.”
Katie enjoys helping people. That's why she's worked for Belk for a total of over 40 years.
“People make me happy," said Smith. “They make my heart happy. They make me smile.”