Time spent at Shoppers Mall is about to get an extra dose of fun beginning next week with the local introduction of a trend that’s been making its way into malls across the country.
Stuffy Riders are set to open a kiosk at the local mall where they will on an initial one month trial be making available to patrons big and small an assortment of motorized stuffy animals that can be ridden at walking speed around pre-designated areas of the facility.
Available will be Stuffies in two sizes- Adult, which can support up to 375 pounds of weight by one or multiple riders and Baby which are made to handle riders up to 80 pounds. An assortment of 12 adults will be stocked including ‘Sparkles’ the Unicorn, a Panda, an Elephant, a Husky and a handful more. The will be joined by four in baby size.
Animals travel at a maximum of about walking speed, allowing them to blend more easily with those getting around the mall in the traditional way. Travel will be allowed along the main mall corridor up to where the Bell store is located and in the loop that runs past Dollarama and The Children’s Place before connecting back onto the main mall corridor. The main exception where Stuffy travel won’t be permitted is the main corridor between the Bell store and the Food Court. Animals are to be restricted to the corridor areas and not inside individual stores.
With cleanliness in mind animals are sanitized throughout the day and thoroughly cleaned regularly including ‘baths’ with a traditional pet grooming wet vac.
To rent, one will visit a kiosk located in the new addition in the vicinity of Shoppers Drug Mart and Sobeys. Pricing begins at $8 for ten minutes, then 50 cents per minute thereafter with payment being made for full usage time by riders on return. Riders under 18 will require an adult to sign a consent.
The local Stuffy Rider outlet will be operated by Souris’ Julie and Paul Cwir, who also manage similar setups in Winnipeg’s Kildonan Place and a recently opened Steinbach location. Stuffy Riders on their website list 32 locations in Canada including 12 in Alberta and seven in Saskatchewan.
The initial trial is slated to begin on Monday, March 2nd and run to April 4th, a period over which the Cwirs say they are looking forward to working with Shoppers Mall, its tenants and visitors to bring a safe, fun addition to the mall atmosphere.
The same animals will be made available for private event and party bookings through the same kiosk.