Pomp and commercialization at Wal-Mart grand opening

Before rushing to fill their shopping baskets with low-priced goods, Carson City residents will watch a flag presentation by a local Boy Scout troop and shake hands with Chester Cheetah at Wal-Mart's grand opening 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Carson City Wal-Mart Store Manager Scott Yoder said Thursday the 3200 Market St. store will give about $28,500 to 21 area organizations at the grand opening.

The Wal-Mart address was previously listed on Table Rock Drive, but a new 150-yard-long street was built to connect off Hot Springs Road.

"We're doing everything we can to be a good partner with the community, as far as the funds we've raised. That will be a yearly dollar figure, not one shot."

Advocates to End Domestic Violence and Carson High School will be recipients, along with 19 others.

An eclectic mix of attractions will join the Wal-Mart celebration, including a car show organized by Karson Kruzers. Wal-Mart associate Shaun Gray will perform the National Anthem. United Blood Services will hold at blood drive there from 8-11 a.m. Keebler, Model Dairy, Pepsi and Coke will give out product samples. Carson City Chamber of Commerce officials will cut the ribbon. The doors open at 8 a.m.

"It's going to be festive, fun and a lot of stuff is going on."

The store employs 420, and Yoder said he is still trying to fill positions. More than 1,300 applied for jobs at the new store and about 50 employees transferred from other stores.

The new 203,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter has 36 general merchandise departments. It has a bakery, delicatessen, a frozen-food section and meat, dairy and fresh produce sections. It is open 24 hours and includes 18 full-service and 10 express checkout lanes.

The supercenter also has a Tire & Lube Express, a McDonald's restaurant, a family fun center, a portrait studio, a one-hour photo lab, a vision center, a pharmacy with two drive-up lanes, a Smart Style hair salon, a Regal nail salon and a Wal-Mart Connect Center for wireless phone sales.

Wal-Mart began construction of its 1 million-square-foot distribution center at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, 10 miles east of Sparks on Interstate 80.

Crews are working on the final grading of the 160-acre site and the project is slated to be completed in 2006.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.


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