Crayola selects Plano to be new location for 60,000 sq-ft. Crayola Experience

The Shops at Willow Bend had a colorful Tuesday morning when Crayola announced that Plano would be the new site for Crayola Experience. Together, civic leaders, residents and kindergartners from Primrose of West Plano gathered to hear about the new concept coming to Plano.

In the spring of 2018, families can enjoy The Crayola Experience, a 60,000 square-foot concept filled 22 hands-on attractions and hours of activity. The concept also includes a 5,000 square-foot Crayola Store, featuring the world’s largest selection of Crayola products and souvenirs.

Vicky Lozano, senior vice president and general manager of Crayola attractions and retail mentioned families can soon name and wrap their own Crayola colors and enjoy Pinterest-inspired drip art at the Crayola Experience. The You Design exhibit will let children design their own cars or outfits, and then see their creations come to life in an interactive projection. There’s also a factory show where families can watch how Crayola crayons are made.

The Crayola Experience exists in Orlando, FL; Easton, PA; and Minneapolis, MN. Plano will be the fourth location, and the first in the southwest region. This addition has been a year in the making, said Crayola CEO Smith Holland, but “Everybody here has been great to work with, the local community members as well as the mall.”

Holland announced the addition along with Michael Powers, senior vice president of leasing at Starwood Retail and Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, who matched his lavender tie with festive Crayola lavender socks.

“Today, it’s about Crayola. To the people at Crayola, all of the countless hours we’ve spent pulling this transaction together, I’m very proud we are where we are,” Powers said.

LaRosiliere said, “To choose Plano, the city of excellence, you make us better by being here, and we’re so excited about that.”

Holland said Plano and the Shops at Willow Bend were carefully selected for its promising market and central location to families in the Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas area.

“It’s just a great market. There’s lots of kids here and we’re very excited about this shopping center here, and the location within the Dallas market is a great opportunity for us,” Holland said.

“We like very much what they’re doing at the Shops at Willow Bend, in terms of their big entertainment and lifestyle reinvention. We think it has a chance to be a great family and kids’ location,” he said.

Plano was also the last stop on Dandelion’s retirement tour. The Crayola color, dandelion, will be retired from the 64-colors box, so children and attendees celebrated Dandelion in his last hurrah.

Kelly-Anne Suarez, community and media communications manager for the Crayola Experience described the experience as “immersive and obviously colorful.” And the Primrose students certainly agreed as they descended on the crayons, Play Doh, glitter and interactive samples available Tuesday morning.

Amy Medford, marketing director for the Shops at Willow Bend said “I’m just elated. I can’t wait. I’m so excited for our families. We already have great reasons for them to come here – our play area and our children’s stores and our holiday experiences – this is just going to take us to the next level.”

“We’re in the business of helping parents and teachers raise creatively alive kids, and we think that they’re the future of the world. The people that have creative skills are the ones that make big change happened, so we’re pretty excited to bring that to the kids here in Plano,” Holland said.

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