Any conversation about the City of Bloomington has to start with the Mall of America. But while the mall may be the largest attraction in the city, it’s hardly the only one.
The Mall, which boasts more than 500 stores and employs more than 11,000 people, generates nearly $2 billion annually in economic activity for the state. In addition to its numerous stores and restaurants, the Mall also offers a number of recreational opportunities, including an amusement park, 14-screen theater and the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium.
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It is no coincidence that the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is also located in Bloomington, “just up the street” from the Mall of America.
The largest suburb of the Twin Cities, Bloomington also claims one of the largest volunteer fire departments in the nation, with 135 firefighters. Centrally located along the I-494 corridor, Bloomington is 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and 20 minutes from downtown St. Paul.
Bloomington is also home to Normandale Community College, a two-year college with more than 13,000 full- and part-time students. The city’s public school system is also strong. Based on data from 2010, Bloomington test scores were 28.9 percent higher than the state average in reading and 23.0 percent higher than the state average in math.
There are 2,116 acres of parks and playgrounds in the city, which also offers two golf courses, a driving range and a hockey arena.
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