City officials say Costco will bring new customer base to Idaho Falls
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IDAHO FALLS – Rumors about whether Costco is coming to Idaho Falls can finally be laid to rest.
The city announced Thursday night that construction on a 150,000 square foot building will begin this fall northwest of the roundabout on Hitt and Lincoln Road.
Mayor Rebecca Casper tells EastIdahoNews.com the conversation about bringing a Costco to Idaho Falls has been the most frequently asked question for the last several years, but the city’s first conversation with Costco did not actually occur until the first week of December.
“Serious inquiries began several months ago but there was no location pinned down. Dana Briggs, our city’s economic development coordinator was just trying to field questions and work with real estate brokers to find out how we could help,” Casper says.
We reached out to Costco to learn more about construction details and why they were interested in this piece of property specifically. A company spokesperson issued the following statement in response:
“It is our company policy to not comment regarding future Costco warehouses until we are ready to share details about the new location, usually two to three months in advance.”
Casper says her understanding of Costco’s interest in that parcel is about attracting the right customer base.
“They’ve already got a customer base for people in (the Pocatello area). They want to pick up new customers from Rexburg, Jackson, Island Park, Driggs, and Victor. The best way to serve them is by putting a store in a place that’s convenient for (these) folks,” she says.
Costco’s decision to locate in Idaho Falls was based on several factors, according to Briggs. One of those factors includes the city’s ability to offer the economic development incentive program.
“Companies can qualify for this incentive primarily through creating a large quantity of new jobs in the community. Costco will do so, generating a substantial overall economic impact and spurring additional economic development in the northeast area of the city,” Briggs said in a news release.
The Idaho Falls Costco is expected to bring more than 100 jobs with salaries starting at $15/hour. Positions will also include full medical and dental benefits.
Casper says Idaho Falls is already a hub for medical services, arts, culture, and retail, but having a Costco only strengthens the city’s profile.
“Now if someone’s going to spend the time and the gas money to drive to Idaho Falls, they’re going to have an expanded option,” says Casper. “It’s not about having a Costco for the sake of having a Costco. It’s about serving the community (and satisfying) what residents have been asking for.”
Construction is expected to begin in September with an anticipated opening date in August of next year.
“It has been a pleasure working with Costco Wholesale Corporation. The integrity of the company is evident in all coordination and communication. We look forward to continually working together as the Idaho Falls facility becomes a reality,” Briggs says.
The Idaho Falls store will be the sixth location in Idaho. Other locations are in Pocatello, Twin Falls, Nampa, Boise and Coeur d’Alene. Costco currently operates 768 warehouses worldwide.