Shoppers traverse the aisles of the new Warrensburg-Lake George Price Chopper supermarket Sunday soon after the store’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. The supermarket, the largest retail outlet in northern Warren County, is to be open 24 hours during the summer.
Minutes after the new Warrensburg-Lake George supermarket’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday at 8 a.m., store manager Bryan LaLone watched hundreds of people push their shopping carts through the aisles of the store and gawk at the tens of thousands of different products in the store’s inventory.
“There’s a spirit of overwhelming excitement today,” said Lalone, a native of Stony Creek and a 1996 graduate of Warrensburg High School. “I’ve heard so many testimonials from people that they are impressed with the variety and value we offer.”
Shoppers from local towns and communities — even from adjacent counties — crammed the store at its grand opening, many filling up their carts to overflowing.
Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty stood inside the store, watching the crowd circulate in the aisles, people greeting each other as they put groceries in the cart.
All eight registers were busy racking up sales. “People are really stoked,” Geraghty said about public reaction to the supermarket that is the largest store in northern Warren County. “This retail development is important for people in the southern Adirondacks.”
Jerry Golub, Price Chopper President, echoed the point.
“People are really excited,” he said with a smile.
Rebecca Hess pushed a cart through the produce aisles with her daughter Madelyn, 2, in tow. Her mother Cheryl DiPasquale won a $250 shopping gift card from Price Chopper and she and her husband Mark shared the winnings with Hess.
“This is awesome — there’s a lot more variety here than we’ve had in town for decades,” Hess said. Mark DiPasquale noted that the fact the grocery store was open 24 hours during the summer — the only market in northern Warren County to do so — meant a vital convenience to his family members because his wife might want to shop late at night due to her unusual work hours.
“This is a gorgeous store — the selection is unbelievable, and it will be a big boost for the area,” he said.
Linda Apple of Warrensburg was among the many filling her cart.
“This will be great in winter — being able to shop close to home regardless of the weather,” she said.
Geraghty said he was pleased about the substantial addition of local jobs. Lalone said that 125 people, most from the North Country, were on the payroll this week. Corporate executives had predicted 100 or so would be employed.
Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce President Peter Aust offered his thoughts on the economic boost the new supermarket and its host shopping plaza are apt to cause.
“This is a great day for the North Country — not only offering the opportunity for people to shop closer to home, but how it’s creating a substantial number of jobs,” Aust said.
Price Chopper Board of Directors President Neil Golub talked about his firm’s employment opportunities. He was active Sunday, circulating in the store, greeting customers as well as offering advice to employees.
“Some of the best people in our company have come from stores like Warrensburg, and that’s special,” he said, adding that a job in a supermarket teaches an array of vital skills in customer service. “We look forward to developing a lot of good talent here.”
Earlier, the Warrensburg High School Band had played the National Anthem, followed by a flag-raising conducted by the local American Legion. The ribbon cutting ensued, followed by a mob of shoppers pushing their carts toward the supermarket’s entrance.
Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson reminded a number of people at the ceremony that the store, although near Warrensburg, was located inside the Lake George town line.
“This supermarket is a real asset to the whole region,” he said, referring to employment as well as meeting the needs of consumers. “It will serve dozens of communities from here well into Essex and Hamilton counties.”