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OKC consumers swarm new Costco

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Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN]
Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN]

It’s finally here.

Costco held its grand opening Thursday — and not a minute too soon for the thousands who showed up zealously seeking savings on bulk items in Oklahoma City.

Kanda Saracho was one of those customers. She already is in love with the new store.

“It’s awesome!” Saracho exclaimed while loading her purchases into her vehicle in a parking lot filled to capacity.

She spent an hour in the store and left with a small cart full of various items, the primary one being a cake for a coworker. Saracho is the designated cake purchaser for office birthdays, and she said Costco's price was favorable to others in Oklahoma City.

“Actually, they have better deals than Sam’s, and the quality of their products is better,” Saracho said.

Costco is known for its warehouse-style bulk shopping experience. It originated in San Diego in 1976 and now has 500 stores in the United States. Until Thursday’s openings, the closest current stores to Oklahoma City were in Tulsa and Lenexa, Kansas.

“Thank you Oklahoma City for getting a Costco,” Saracho said. “I was tired of driving to Tulsa.”

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The business received a $3 million incentive from the city to build in city limits. This incentive was part of an agreement with the company that it would invest an estimated $15 million in the construction of the nearly 150,000-square-foot building and hire 150 part-time and full-time employees.

Oklahoma City staff project Costco will generate about $600,000 to $1.1 million annually in new City General Fund sales tax in its first six years of operation.

The incentive is a performance-based sales tax reimbursement. A portion of sales tax generated at Costco will be given back to the store over the course of several years until the $3 million threshold is met.

For example, if a customer spends $100 at the new Costco, city taxes for the item, a total of 4.125 percent, would cost the consumer about $4.13. This amount is based on several taxes including city sales tax, the public safety sales tax, the zoo tax and the Better Streets, Safer City tax.

The only tax Costco would receive partial reimbursement for is the city sales tax, which is charged at a rate of 2.25 percent

Costco receives rebates only for what is considered newly generated tax, which has been estimated to be about 41 percent as part of the incentive agreement, or about 92 cents of that hypothetical $100 purchase. Of the newly generated, previously nonexisting tax revenue, Costco is entitled to an 85% rebate, or about 78 cents.

So, for every $4.13 in city taxes collected when $100 is spent at a new Costco, the city would keep about $3.35, while Costco would be reimbursed about 78 cents, until the $3 million amount is met. The city estimates it will take four to five years until Costco receives its full amount as part of the agreement.

But for many in attendance at the grand opening, taxes were hardly the brass tacks, and the focus was on the products provided.

“My son woke up today and said, ‘Costco is open today!’” Ashley Gill said. “He’s been looking forward to it.”

Gill’s family moved from California a few years ago where they regularly shopped at Costco.

“It’s good for kids, there are lots of organic snacks that we can buy in bulk,” Gill said.

Her kids, ages 8, 5 and 2, said, “It was the best day ever.”

Saracho only had one bit of advice for anyone who plans to visit in the coming days.

“Have your checkbook ready because they have some great deals,” she said.

Related Photos
<strong>Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN]</strong>

Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-85ca16756c60b1fb1dbec58431ac2169.jpg" alt="Photo - Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-197eca9c5ae421bcd248cad4cbf6e5ca.jpg" alt="Photo - People stand in line to buy memberships Thursday during the opening of Oklahoma City's Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" People stand in line to buy memberships Thursday during the opening of Oklahoma City's Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> People stand in line to buy memberships Thursday during the opening of Oklahoma City's Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a2eff5176e9d14959ce28bf2408fb254.jpg" alt="Photo - Cars line up to find parking spots Thursday during the Costco opening. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Cars line up to find parking spots Thursday during the Costco opening. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Cars line up to find parking spots Thursday during the Costco opening. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-973f163ecbcdb34f46b55d0e80dd1afd.jpg" alt="Photo - Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9ea5f015981839a7c029fc5db3f99485.jpg" alt="Photo - Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a0efad992aa201cbbb713476d4b05715.jpg" alt="Photo - Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television Thursday while shopping at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television Thursday while shopping at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television Thursday while shopping at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ff7ef6f860a6bf858c818a0b3d82852f.jpg" alt="Photo - Cars line up to find parking spots Thursday during the Costco opening. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Cars line up to find parking spots Thursday during the Costco opening. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Cars line up to find parking spots Thursday during the Costco opening. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2c9463c47975b7bc290f83ac842decb9.jpg" alt="Photo - People stand in line to buy memberships Thursday during the opening of Oklahoma City's Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" People stand in line to buy memberships Thursday during the opening of Oklahoma City's Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> People stand in line to buy memberships Thursday during the opening of Oklahoma City's Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a0c670f6b26c5fcf235815ed512cecb7.jpg" alt="Photo - Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Lines form at the Oklahoma City Costco on opening day. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6bff830203fdb07cbe05dbe38c628641.jpg" alt="Photo - Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television while shopping during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television while shopping during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television while shopping during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dba0e374785376af56bb170cb9d43acf.jpg" alt="Photo - Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1c22a67904f29fd868abebe3e4198a75.jpg" alt="Photo - Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bdc4628a9af0297c4b9353adf3179d33.jpg" alt="Photo - Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out Thursday at Costco. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ff7ef6f860a6bf858c818a0b3d82852f.jpg" alt="Photo - Cars line up to find parking spots during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Cars line up to find parking spots during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Cars line up to find parking spots during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2c9463c47975b7bc290f83ac842decb9.jpg" alt="Photo - People stand in line to buy memberships during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="People stand in line to buy memberships during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>People stand in line to buy memberships during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a0c670f6b26c5fcf235815ed512cecb7.jpg" alt="Photo - People wait to check out during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="People wait to check out during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>People wait to check out during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6bff830203fdb07cbe05dbe38c628641.jpg" alt="Photo - Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television while shopping during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television while shopping during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Gaby Rosas, of Oklahoma City, pushes a television while shopping during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dba0e374785376af56bb170cb9d43acf.jpg" alt="Photo - Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Amanda Clements, left, and her mother, Sheree Watson, both of Shawnee, look at sandals during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1c22a67904f29fd868abebe3e4198a75.jpg" alt="Photo - Crowds of people shop during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Crowds of people shop during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Crowds of people shop during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bdc4628a9af0297c4b9353adf3179d33.jpg" alt="Photo - Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Blake Lee, of El Reno, waits to check out during the opening of Costco, 13200 N Western Ave., in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 16, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-79c89be37ab92c994f2ea47dc7805565.jpg" alt="Photo - Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman " title="Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-54a7d10a67ae2698b949db49102418c3.jpg" alt="Photo - Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman " title="Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-24a718921328f3551cfe9b16007496b6.jpg" alt="Photo - Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman " title="Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Crews continue construction on the new Costco located on the southeast corner of Kilpatrick Turnpike and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0863e735ce0d4cd8da8849aa759b5278.jpg" alt="Photo - Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Crowds of people shop during the Thursday opening of Oklahoma City's new Costco at 13200 N Western Ave. [NATE BILLINGS PHOTOS/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure>
David Dishman

Business Writer David Dishman has worked as a journalist in Oklahoma since 2014 covering business, education, local government, healthcare and more. He worked as a reporter in southeast Oklahoma before joining the business team at The Oklahoman in... Read more ›

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