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First Home Depot opens in Panhandle

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First Home Depot opens in Panhandle

March 30, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

RANSON, W.Va. - It looked like a fair as much as it did the opening of a store.

Customers snacked on cake and fried chicken while others spun wheels for free prizes.

It was the opening of The Home Depot store in the new Potomac Marketplace shopping center along the Charles Town Bypass.

The store hosted a "Neighborhood Night" from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday to give local residents a feel for things to come when the store has its regular scheduled grand opening at 6 a.m. today, said Elva Carr, operations manager for the home improvement store.

Instead of a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday night, there was a board cutting ceremony featuring Ranson Mayor David Hamill in the lumber section of the store, said Carr.


Store manager Julie Welsh gave Hamill a $2,000 store gift card to help the city with a planned playground, Carr said.

The store also will provide the city with volunteers to help with the project, Welsh said.

The store is 120,000 square feet and offers unique features such as a greenhouse with tropical plants and a lighting section with thousands of different lights and ceiling fans, Carr said.

"If you can't find it here, you probably don't want it," Carr said of the lighting section named "Think Big."

An estimated 500 people crowded into the store for giveaways of store merchandise and other activities.

A long line of people formed at a wheel which could be spun for free prizes like a tape measure, a carabiner or a can cooler.

Vivian Simpson of Charles Town waited in the line, munching on cake.

"We were all the way back there," said Simpson, pointing to the end of the line that stretched for yards and yards.

Simpson said she was glad to see the store opening, partly because her husband got a job there, which will allow him to end his 40-minute commute to Frederick, Md.

Rolly Neve of Charles Town said he wished the store would have been here much earlier because it would have saved him on time making many trips to home improvement stores in Frederick and Winchester, Va.

"I love it. It's like heaven, finally," Neve said.

About 130 people work at the store.

Potomac Marketplace will also include a Weis supermarket and smaller shops.

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