A $15,000 prom during an economic downturn might seem extravagant.

That didn't stop Litchfield students and their families from renting the theme park at Mall of America recently for about 200 excited teenagers. It was twice the cost of last year's prom, when wallets were fatter and times were better.

People may be driving less, shopping for more discounts and eating more meals at home, but almost no one is skimping on prom, industry experts said. The teen rite of passage appears to be recession-proof.

"I probably spent between $250 and $300" on a dress, prom ticket, manicure, hair styling and other preparations, said Litchfield High junior Kalli Swanson. "It was worth it."

"We're not feeling any ill effects" from the economic downturn, said Jim Hardin of Knights Formal Wear. "Prom is a big event in a young person's life. They usually beg, borrow or steal to come up with money to have a nice night."

Source: Star-Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/18536444.html