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Daytona’s Big Day: Costco Opens to Cheers and Shopping Cheers!

Credit: The Daytona Beach News Journal

The sun hadn’t even had its morning coffee before the buzz started in Daytona Beach. It was a day marked on calendars, whispered about in the aisles of other stores, and dreamed of in the hearts of bulk-buy enthusiasts. Yes, the long-awaited day had finally arrived: the grand opening of Daytona’s very own Costco Wholesale store, and oh, what a day it was!

Imagine the scene: Across from the iconic Daytona International Speedway, a new retail giant wakes up to greet its first customers. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. It’s a dream come true,” said local resident John Williams, a Costco member since the Reagan administration, who had been trekking 44.5 miles for his Costco fix. Now, with the journey cut down to a mere 6.8 miles, his sign of loyalty might as well have been a banner for celebration.

As the ribbon was cut, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry couldn’t help but reminisce. The spot where deals on bulk toilet paper and jumbo-sized snacks now stood was once home to the old General Electric plant, a community cornerstone. This transformation from industrial site to shopping paradise, part of the One Daytona “lifestyle and entertainment center,” was a project a decade in the making, with NASCAR, the city, and the county throwing in over $140 million combined to bring this vision to life. “Costco is certainly best in class,” Henry declared, marking a promise fulfilled.

But let’s talk about the real stars of the day: the shoppers. By 7:30 a.m., lines snaked around the building, each person buzzing with anticipation. Among them, Randy Ford from Gainesville, who’d been so eager that he’d planned to camp out just to claim his spot in line for the liquor store. Then there were David and Silvia Rosenthal, up before the sun to be first in line, ready to stock up on favorites and perhaps discover new ones.

Within the first half-hour, a whopping 498 shoppers had streamed through the doors, a testament to the magnetic pull of Costco’s debut. Lindsay Andreotti and her dad, Jack Kuntz, Seattle transplants and long-time Costco loyalists, did a “happy dance” to celebrate the end of their long drives to the nearest store. Now, with Costco just a four-mile jaunt away, it was like a piece of their old home had come to them.

This new Costco isn’t just any store; it’s a behemoth of bulk buying, the largest in Central Florida and perhaps the state, sprawling over 162,000 square feet of shopping nirvana. It’s a place where you can fuel up your car at its 24-pump gas station before diving into aisles filled with super high-quality goods, from juicy salmon to the crispest apples.

One Daytona President Roxanne Ribakoff summed it up perfectly: Costco isn’t just an anchor tenant; it’s a destination. It’s the magnet pulling in crowds, eager for the high-quality, bulk-buy bliss that Costco promises. With its opening, One Daytona is set to become not just a place to shop, but a place to be, blending retail, entertainment, and that unique Costco charm.

So, there you have it, the tale of Daytona’s big day. A community’s dream, years in the making, finally realized with the snip of a ribbon and the cheer of a crowd. As the doors swung open and the first carts rolled out, it was clear: Daytona’s Costco wasn’t just a store opening; it was the beginning of a new chapter, a bulk-sized piece of the American dream, right there on Pit Road.