The Asheville Mall has announced plans to implement a Youth Escort Policy (YEP) designed to provide a family-friendly, convenient, and enjoyable shopping experience.
The new policy – which will be enforced beginning Friday, January 17 – requires all mall visitors under 18-years of age to be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is 21 years of age or older on Friday and Saturday nights after 5 p.m. In addition to Friday and Saturday evenings, the policy can also be implemented at any other day and time at the discretion of management when it is deemed necessary.
The Youth Escort Policy is intended to curtail the rising number of unsupervised youths hanging out at Asheville Mall and related disturbances. Asheville Mall management is implementing the policy in response to feedback from local government, business leaders, and members of the community.
“Through feedback from our community, including shoppers and retailers that have voiced concern about inappropriate behavior – we have designed a policy that will allow Asheville Mall to address unsupervised youth issues and provide all our shoppers with a pleasant experience,” said Spencer Dawkins, general manager of Asheville Mall.
The conduct of unsupervised youth and young adults at Asheville Mall has created an uncomfortable atmosphere for mall visitors and an increasing security challenge.
“Asheville Mall strives to remain a center of commerce in the community that brings quality stores and shoppers together,” said Dawkins. “Unfortunately, a growing number of unsupervised youths are attempting to use the mall in a manner that is inconsistent with this purpose.”
“Teens and pre-teens are welcome to shop at the mall,” said Dawkins. “We are only asking that our youth customers shop with a parent or guardian who is 21 years of age or older during a limited number of the total hours the mall is open each week.”
Teens employed at the mall will be allowed to work after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings, or at any time the policy is in effect. Asheville Mall will issue identification to teens under 18 years of age for ease of access to work during these times.
The Youth Escort Policy can be found on the mall’s website at Asheville-Mall.com/security.