UPDATE 10:10 a.m.
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran cut the red ribbon and hundreds of shoppers eagerly streamed into the new Costco early Thursday morning.
“I do want to acknowledge the great work of our city manager Doug Gilchrist as well as Derek Edstrom and Ryan Smith, who really worked to make this happen,” said Basran.
“I know that this was a bit of an election issue four years ago, however, I’m really happy to say that we were able to keep Costco here in our community. A much larger store that’s expanded its employee base as well. And I also just want to thank Costco because not only is this a great investment in our community, but it helps support small businesses in our community as well because it draws people from around the Interior who not only shop here but support so many of our other businesses in our community.”
Some started lining up shortly after midnight. One couple near the front of the line came from Kamloops, another man drove all the way from Vancouver to get his hands on a Playstation 5.
The gaming console was the big draw for many, and a steady stream of them was flowing out the door not long after the warehouse opened.
Among those waiting to get in was Mike Chisholm, who worked 23 years at the old Costco location, before moving on to a different company.
“This is a cool moment. So, I’m here to be part of this because I feel like, even though I left the company in 2018, I feel that this is a really cool thing. Kelowna’s getting the Cadillac Costco. Best Costco in Canada. We’re very, very fortunate,” said Chisholm.
ORIGINAL 4:00 a.m.
One of the most anticipated events in Kelowna is taking place today.
Hundreds of excited shoppers were on hand for the grand opening of the new Kelowna Costco location Thursday at 7 a.m.
The location at 2125 Baron Road is described as "new and improved" and more than 100 new employees have been hired as a result of the move from the old location.
The new 167,000 square-foot location is 24 per cent larger than the previous building and features wider aisles and a larger selection of food offerings than the previous location. It also includes a larger variety of specialty departments, including an on-site bakery and a new hearing aid centre. The new location will also feature 14 checkout registers and a new self-checkout with nine stations and the parking lot will have 246 more spots than the previous location.
“With the opening of this new warehouse, we can serve all of our members in the Kelowna and surrounding area and can bring new consumers and businesses to uncover the benefits of a Costco membership,” said Pierre Riel, senior vice-president and country manager, Costco Wholesale Canada.
“We are very proud to share this new location with our valued members and member businesses in the local community and throughout the area.”
The opening ceremony took place at 6:30 a.m., with mayor Colin Basran joined by city councillors and Costco executives. The event was live streamed on Castanet.
“We are thrilled about the Costco Wholesale Kelowna relocation,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “The upgraded Costco has created valuable employment opportunities for the region, and will strengthen the local economy by offering a wider selection of goods and services to our residents and visitors.”
The Costco gas bar opened in Kelowna on December 10, 2021.