BLOOMINGTON (AP) - It's been 20 years since Mall of America in Bloomington made its debut.

The shopping and tourism destination is marking the milestone with a birthday celebration on Friday and Saturday. The mall opened to the public on August 11, 1992.

150,000 people showed up on that opening day. Since then, more than 800 million visitors have crossed its threshold, generating $1 billion in sales annually.

The establishment has weathered economic ups and downs by being both a tourist attraction and a destination for high-end shopping.

The mall had 333 stores when it opened and now has 520 stores. Construction is now underway on a major "phase two" project that includes a Radisson Hotel.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)