Crowds line up for long-awaited Costco opening

Crowds line up for long-awaited Costco opening

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Eager shoppers lined up early Friday morning ahead of the opening. Eager shoppers lined up early Friday morning ahead of the opening.
Mayor Tim Burchett and Commissioner Mike Hammond were among those in attendance at the ribbon cutting. Mayor Tim Burchett and Commissioner Mike Hammond were among those in attendance at the ribbon cutting.
Shoppers swarmed the store as soon as it opened. Shoppers swarmed the store as soon as it opened.
The interior of the store. The interior of the store.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

FARRAGUT (WATE) - The wait is over for Knoxville shoppers.

After years of rumors, hope, petitions and most recently, construction, Knoxvillians finally have their own Costco warehouse.

"Over the years we've taken surveys asking our citizens 'What would you like to see in Farragut that we don't already have?' and always Costco was at the top of the list," said Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill.

The store opened Friday morning with crowds lined up ahead of the 8:00 a.m. open.

"I've heard so much about Costco," said customer Miranda Householder. "I knew it had to be great."

"This is one of the best stores in the country," said customer Glen Laiken. "It's the ultimate in value and quality."

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and County Commissioner Mike Hammond attended the ribbon cutting.

"We've been waiting for this for a long time. We've spent a couple of years going back and forth and trying to figure where we could put such a thing, but the bottom line was Costco told us they wanted to be in Farragut period," said McGill. "So it's gonna go in Farragut or it's not gonna be in East Tennessee. So we made it happen."

The mayor said the boost in sales tax would bring in funding for projects around Farragut.

"We've got an active program of adding to our parks, adding other amenities, and this will help pay for some of that," he said.

Costco's vice president for the Southeast U.S., Roger Campbell, said the store has been a long time coming.

"I've been coming to the whole Knoxville market for about the last 12-14 years looking at different sites, knowing we wanted to be here," Campbell said. "When we came upon this one, to me, immediately it just felt right."

Campbell said Costco is about bringing quality items to members at lower prices than they'd find at other stores.

That's why, he said, so many Knoxville residents already had a membership before the store came to town.

"Our sign ups have been very strong. Surprisingly, before we came here we already had 1,500 members that lived in the Greater Knoxville area. They've got to drive an hour and half to the closest store," Campbell said.

"We've got one in our area now, so come down and see us."

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