"Supercenter’ opens Wednesday | VailDaily.com

"Supercenter’ opens Wednesday

Christine Ina Casillas

Shoppers from throughout Eagle County and beyond are expected to flood the opening of the new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Avon Wednesday.

The grand opening celebration will begin at 7:30 a.m. at 171 Yoder Avenue, at the Village at Avon.

“It’s a very big thing for the town and region,” said Larry Brooks, Avon’s town manager. “The town is equally excited about the opening because it marks the beginning of the renovation and occupancy of the old site (at Chapel Square).”

The Avon Wal-Mart Supercenter encompasses more than 187,000 square feet of retail space and employe more than 325 “associates,” said Jeff Crump, the store’s manager. It offers customers a full line of groceries and general merchandise under one roof.

“People can now take ownership and pride in their store,” Crump said. “It’s their store.”

A number of specialty shops with be housed in the supercenter, including a tire and express-lube shop, a vision center, a hair salon, a photo-processing lab and studio and a fast-food restaurant.

New to Wal-Mart Supercenters around the country is an online connection from the checkout stands to the fast-food restaurant.

“Customers can order McDonald’s while they’re checking out,” Crump said. “There’s a menu at each register, and they can pick up their food on their way out of the store.”

The supercenter, to be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, also will feature eight self-checkout lanes.

“We’re really excited about the opening,” Brooks said. “It’ll turn the town around and put new occupants in the old store now that it’s moved to a new location.”

The remodel of the old Wal-Mart site, which is practically empty now with only 30 days left to clean out the store officially, can start remodeling within those 30 days for the new site, adding 1,200 square feet of space for three national stores – Gart Sports, Pier 1 Imports and Office Depot.

“We want people to know that if they come into the store and their product isn’t there, we will get it in stock immediately,” he said. “They just need to let us know that we’re out of a certain item. This is Avon’s Wal-Mart.”

Grand opening celebration

The grand opening of Avon’s Wal-Mart Supercenter at the Village at Avon will feature the presentation of colors by Avon’s Veterans of Foreign War post. Wal-Mart associate Geri Romero will sing the national anthem and the Battle Mountain High School cheerleaders will lead the charge before the official ribbon-cutting at 8 a.m.

During the grand opening Wednesday, Wal-Mart associates are expected to contribute more than $5,000 to area nonprofit organizations through Wal-Mart’s Good Works community involvement program, said the store’s manager, Jeff Crump. A partial listing of organizations in the Avon area receiving grand-opening contributions include:

– Children’s Hospital Foundation

– United Way of Eagle River Valley, Inc.

– Cancer Recovery Foundation of America

– Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado, Inc.

– Literacy Project

– Veterans of Foreign Wars

Last year, Wal-Mart contributed $3.1 million to Colorado community organizations.

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at ccasillas@vaildaily.com.

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