Monday, August 3, 2015

Hobby Lobby opens long-awaited Ammon store

Jami Ingle of Idaho Falls at the Ammon Hobby Lobby store opening Monday.
The long-anticipated opening of Hobby Lobby went off this morning, with refreshments and a ribbon cutting by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber Ambassadors, but the line that marked the opening of next-door Cabela’s in May were noticeably absent.

Store Manager Brad Bassett, who moved to the area from Phoenix, Ariz., a few weeks ago, said there were about 30 people outside at 8:30 a.m. Once the formalities were finished, slightly after 9, the 50,000-square-foot store was officially open for business. Bassett said the store employs about 55 people, down from the 87 who were needed to get it up and running.

Store Manager Brad Bassett
As noon approached, the number of customers continued to grow. Buying a 30-by-40-inch frame for a mirror in her living room, Jami Ingle of Idaho Falls said she was glad the wait was over.

“I was excited to find a frame this big,” said Ingle, who has made trips to the Hobby Lobby store in Logan Utah. “I think it’s great. I’m excited that it’s finally here.”

Mid-store, with a shopping cart that was filling up with artificial flowers and gifts, Kathy Peterson said she had come more out of curiosity. “It’s the new store in town, you know? You’ve got to check it out.”

Peterson said she thinks the Idaho Falls-Ammon area has crafts-crazy people to support any number of stores like Michaels, Porter’s, JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. “I think competition is a good thing, no matter where it is,” she said.

Although the majority of customers late Monday morning were women, there were men in the store. Brad Christensen, a member of the Ammon City Council, said he’d stopped in out of curiosity.

“It looks like there’s a lot of enthusiasm for it,” he said.

Christensen also said he planned to buy something for his wife, Nicole. “Something to decorate the living room, probably. She’s always decorating,” he said.