Business Students Propose Wausau Mall Development Ideas


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The Wausau Center Mall is still sitting a vacant space, previously occupied by JC Penny. Although the space has been vacant, many different proposals have been taken into consideration, one specifically for movie the theater which did not go through.

Information Technology and Business teacher Mrs. Jennifer Gipp kept track of the space and took the opportunity to challenge her Business Management students. This allowed her students to tackle making proposal for the Wausau Center Mall.

As a business owner in the community, I have been following the story on the Sears vacancy,” said Mrs. Gipp.  “ When I heard the movie theater project fell through, I thought it would be a perfect time to give the Business Management students a real-world problem to solve.”

Business Management student PaCha Xiong participated in the project.

“Mrs. Gipp showed us a news video of the mayor talking about a new development using the empty space of what used to be JC Penny,” said Xiong. “The video talked about what the space was going to be but the plans changed and they were open to suggestions.”

Mrs. Gipp said that all students needed to complete all parts of the business plan. Some of the parts included the legal structure, industry analysis, marketing plan and financial plan.

 Despite the challenge proposing an idea for the vacant space, the class was able to present their business proposals to Mayor Robert Mielke and Planning Director Christian Schock in early December.

Xiong and her group proposed an interactive museum including giant instruments, a coloring wall with large markers, a scratch and sniff wall, a big ball pit and a room dedicated to take Polaroid pictures and puppies, said Xiong.

“We came up with this idea because Wausau has never had anything like this before,” Xiong said. “Our group thought it would bring more customers to the mall and to our business.”

Difficulties faced while completing the project included specifically finding a business name that would stand out.

“Once the mayor was in the room, it was not just a school project anymore,” said Xiong. “We were talking business to a very important person and we did not want to disappoint them. I feel very proud of my group’s idea. It was not ordinary. It was unique.”

Mrs. Gipp believes that the project got the students thinking out of the box and that it made students learn what it takes to start a business in the community

Although the project is over, Xiong hopes the mayor takes their business plan into consideration.

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Business Students Propose Wausau Mall Development Ideas