EAST PEORIA -- The first piece of East Peoria's new downtown is finished and open for business. The wholesale retailer Costco opened to the public Wednesday morning.
Excited shoppers looked on as Costco Manager Steve Cimino cut the ribbon and welcomed them inside.
Cimino said it has been a long wait, and he's glad to be serving the people of central Illinois.
Cimino said, "We're very excited to be here like I've said before the community has been very welcoming to us, the community has been waiting for us and we've been waiting to be here."
The wholesale retailer promises the best value at the lowest price. Cimino said he hopes to offer a treasure hunt atmosphere.
He said customers are always stumbling across something new. "Our merchandise rotates in and out so much. We don't label our aisles because one day it may be one category and the next day it may be another."
To give you an example of the savings, a pair of Seven jeans retails for about $150, but here at Costco you can get it for $89.99. That savings alone pays off your membership.
Cameras, fresh fish and designer handbags show the array of items you can find. Customers say they're here to get the deals, and happy it's close to home.
Peg Kelly said, "Oh excitement! Everything is going to be down here. I no longer have to cross over the bridge to Peoria for anything, it's all here!"
Bonnie Hartig said, "I think this is an enormous plus. I'm excited and I think cost to join is reasonable and I'm sure we'll save that."
Ruth Reinkel said, "I think it's wonderful. I really do. I think East Peoria is going to really blossom."
Costco also has a gas station. Employees say it promises to be the cheapest gas in about a ten mile radius.