Valentine’s Day: A time for love, romance — and shopping.
The Palm Beach Outlets mall turns 2 this week, and it’s hosting a celebration this weekend to mark the occasion.
The event will feature the World Birthday Cake-Eating Championship, which kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday. There also will be events for children, entertainment, raffles and sidewalk sales through Sunday evening.
About that cake-eating contest: It’s an eight-minute challenge, sanctioned by Major League Eating. Twelve eaters will chow down for a portion of $5,000 in cash prizes. The winner last year, Matt Stonie — who happens to be the No. 1 eater in the world — set a new world record by eating 14.5 pounds of birthday cake in under eight minutes.
For more information about the mall’s birthday celebration, call 561-515-4400 or go to www.palmbeachoutlets.com.
Here are five things to know about the Palm Beach Outlets as you head out to shop this weekend:
1. It was the top commercial property sale of 2015 in Palm Beach County. The main outlet mall sold for $278 million, and the Marketplace at the Outlets strip center sold for $116.7 million.
2. More stores are planned — a lot more stores. The developer in November 2014 filed plans for another wing to the mall, near Forever 21, which would house 30 more retailers.
3. Before the Palm Beach Outlets mall, there was the Palm Beach Mall. Opening in 1967, the Palm Beach Mall was the premiere shopping destination in Palm Beach County for decades. Check out photos here of it being demolished to make way for the outlets.
4. County officials are using the mall to lure tourists. The outlets and other Palm Beach County malls were featured in a marketing campaign to draw tourists from Brazil to Palm Beach County for Black Friday.
5. Those visitors have given a boost to surrounding businesses. At the Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn across the street from the outlets, the director of sales and marketing told The Palm Beach Post in June that the hotel has seen a huge jump in the number of international tourists visiting to shop at the mall.