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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Calling all shoppers, Charlotte's New Premium Outlet Mall is officially open for business.

Huge crowds turned up Thursday in Steele Creek for door buster giveaways, sales and an opening ceremony.

You can't beat free, and shoppers came out in huge crowds to rack up on grand opening gift cards.

"Carter's and Osh Kosh are giving out gift cards to the first 100 people, and they range anywhere from $5 to $250," said shopper Lucy Scotland.

Not only for the gift cards, shoppers came out in droves to check out Steele Creek's newest big attraction, Charlotte Premium Outlets.

"It is really nice, set up better than any other outlet mall I've seen. It's lot nice than Gaffney and Raleigh ones," says shopper Ben Hogan.

Former Charlotte City Councilman Andy Dulin was there for the grand opening ceremony and says rezoning that land was a no brainer for the city.

"This literally was a big grassy field where there's a $90 million investment now with 3,000 people employed; [it] transforms a community," said Dulin.

Some who have stayed employed thanks to the new construction showed up to celebrate as well.

"It's paid the bills and put food on the table for the last six months and a little extra stuff about to go on vacation now," said contractor, Ryan Dial.

Governor Pat McCrory helped cut the ribbon, and says this is not just huge for Charlotte but for the state economy.

"This is going to draw shoppers from across the border in South Carolina to spend their money here, which will bring me new revenue and the state new revenue to help pay for teachers, and roads and other needed infrastructure," said Governor McCrory.

Shoppers who live in the area say they are thrilled to have the huge outlets so close to home.

"Normally I would go to Concord Mills to go to Osh Kosh, so this saves me 25 minutes and a truck-load of gas," said Scotland.

Great reviews and great turnout for the first day, and shoppers say it exceeded their expectations.

"I wanted to come check out the excitement, didn't realize it was going to be this packed and crowded, but place is set up really nice," said Hogan.

Stores have extra deals going through the grand opening weekend.

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