Correspondent

LIVERMORE -- Just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, the Bay Area's largest outlet mall, full of upscale stores, is ready to open and lighten the wallets of thousands of shoppers.

Paragon Outlets Livermore Valley debuts Thursday, to the delight of shoppers from San Jose to Discovery Bay.

"Exciting!!!," wrote one Facebook fan. "I can't wait to shop there for the holidays."

"Can't wait for the opening," wrote another. "Thanks for bringing Kate Spade to NorCal."

The Baltimore-based company with two other outlet malls in Texas and Florida is planning a four-day grand opening of its 543,000-square-foot outdoor mall beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The 130-store center has signed all of its leases and includes high-end retailers like Prada, Armani, Coach, Kate Spade, Bloomingdale's and Barneys, said Dave Ackerman, assistant general manager of the new mall.

The festivities include deals of up to 70 percent off at some stores and preview sales Wednesday at Bloomingdale's, Last Call by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The excitement generated from the outlets opening isn't limited to its Facebook page.

The Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, city of Livermore and Paragon Outlets local team have been flooded with calls and emails about the center.

"This is going to bring in people from all over and that is good for the cities all over," said Dale Kaye, president and chief executive officer for the Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce. "Overall, we (city of Livermore) are asking how did we get so lucky to land this and secondarily we are asking each other what shops are we going to go to."

It took nearly a decade for the outlet mall to become a reality for Livermore and the Tri-Valley, but those talks became reality when Paragon Outlets broke ground in August 2011.

The long awaited outlets, which Paragon has said is the first outlet center to open in California since 2001, is expected to pump $2 million a year into Livermore's coffers through sales tax and is expected to create at least 2,000 jobs.

"The excitement is regional," Kaye said. "This will create a ripple effect with people coming here for it but also headed to restaurants and hotels."

But most of the questions that Kaye, the city and Paragon have fielded as opening day draws closer is what stores are coming.

"The brands speak to everybody. Some are excited for Coach and others Nike," Kaye said. "I have heard from men who are just as excited as the women."

Sayuri Shimada, a high school English teacher who lives in Livermore, was a kid when Stoneridge Mall debuted, the last major shopping center that opened in the Tri-Valley and remembers the excitement it brought.

"Living in Livermore, I have heard a lot about stores that will be there," said Shimada, who shops at Stoneridge at least once a month. "I am very curious to see what they have and will offer "I am more excited for curiosity sake. With me living in Livermore and driving by it every day it will be nice to stop and shop, especially if I am looking for gifts."

Paragon is planning to host of events to over the four-day grand opening for which a capacity crowd is expected. A VIP party is planned for 5 p.m. Thursday, for which shoppers can receive an invitation by signing up for Paragon Outlets VIP club at paragonoutletslv.com.

"The very best sales will be opening weekend." said Ackerman. "Those first few day the sales will be ridiculous."

PARAGON OUTLETS

For information on grand opening festivities visit www.paragonoutletslv.com.