Rockville Mall, a retail disaster area since shortly after its opening in 1972, has a new manager and it's about to get a new name.

Robert A. Gring, most recently associated with Beltway Plaza shopping center at Greenbelt, was named general manager of the down-town Rockville complex by Sulzburger-Rolfe Inc., of New York, agents for the center.

His first announcement was a contest to select a new name for Rockville Mall, which now is 30 per cent vacant.

Mall shoppers have been invited to make suggestions and the winner will receive a seven-day, all-expenses-paid trip to London for two persons. Directors of the Mall Merchants Association will select the winning entry and announce the mall's new name at a "gala rededication" ceremony early in 1973, Gring said.

"the move will initiate an aggressive program of promotional events designed to serve the public and more fully assimilate the mall into the Rockville retail community," said a mall announcement.

Gring plans to concentrate on attracting consumers from the immediate Rockville area, emphasing convenience of using a city-owned 1,500-car mall parking lot as a major attraction. The complex has been plagued with low business volume since the Lansburgh's chain failed and closed the mall's major store.