FAYETTEVILLE -- It's been two months since Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville put a curfew in place for Friday and Saturday nights. Mall staff said the youth escort program has been nothing but successful.
"When kids come in the mall now, they have parents with them, and usually, you know, when the cat's away, the mice will play, you know, when mom and dad aren't here, I can get away with a little bit more," said Jane Toney, an employee at Yankee Candle "Now, you don't have that as much, now you have kids that are better well-behaved.”
Toney is talking about the curfew program that has been in place since June 15. Anyone under the age of 18, after 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 or older. The program is a permanent policy change.
"Of course kids are upset because they think they are being singled out and they are the youth," said General Manager Sam Billingsley. "Basically, we try to tell them they can come any other time during the week, or Saturday afternoons. But the mall is a shopping place, not a place to hangout."
Mall staff said since the program started two months ago, every Friday and Saturday night, they are having to ask 20 to 50 teenagers to leave the property.
Shelly Brackett said, as a mother of two boys, and one who is 16 years old, she understands the purpose of the new curfew.
"It's kind of a hassle, but I actually agree with it because a lot of parents don't take the time to teach their kids right from wrong and they come out here and act ridiculous," said Brackett. "It's a family atmosphere.”
And employees said sales are noticeably improving.
"We do have a lot of adults that are enjoying coming back to the mall and coming back to a shopping experience without the unruly teenagers, versus, it's so chaotic,” said Toney.