EAST NORWEGIAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Over the past decade, fewer and fewer people have made the mall an essential stop during the holiday season. Online shopping has taken quite a bite.
Many malls find themselves changing, bringing in unconventional tenants. That includes a mall in Schuylkill County.
At Fairlane Village Mall just outside of Pottsville, people are fitting in some last-minute Christmas shopping while also taking some swings in a batting cage!
"We've always talked about not having someplace to do this, to warm-up for the season to do whatever we need to do to get ready. We're always doing it in this great rush in February and March to all of a sudden get ready. Then you get one week on the field, and it's over. Your season starts," said Athletics in Motion owner Joe Medica.
Joe Medica is a long-time coach and avid sports fan. He recognized a need in Schuylkill County for an indoor sports facility, where athletes in the area can go to train and practice for just about any sport that's played outdoors.
"It's an opportunity for the athletes to kind of hone their craft and practice batting, pitching, if it's a sport like soccer, we have enough space to do drills," added Medica. "So, there's enough room to do a little bit of everything, except play the actual game."
Athletics on Motion opened here just last week.
"Teaching my son is the most important thing. Something to do to keep him off the streets and keep him engaged. We needed something like this. This is great for any sport," said Ryan Fegley, a dad, coach, and athlete.
A venture like this also continues a trend of malls in our area, changing how they do business as online shopping becomes easier and more prevalent, which has affected malls like Fairlane Village.
"Times are changing, and as the times change, you have to change with them. A lot of the national companies are going out that used to be in the mall," said Rocco Arruzzo, Mall Manager. "The smaller stores that were inside the mall, you still have your anchors, but now what do you do? You go to the family, you go to a family-like Athletics in Motion."
For more information on Athletics in Motion, click here.