Whole Foods Rocky Mountain Ready to Open 36th store: Longmont, CO

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From the Boulder Daily Camera (http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-business/ci_30517904/whole-foods-at-longmonts-village-at-peaks-open):

Months after a highly-publicized delay, the Whole Foods at Longmont’s Village at the Peaks has an official debut date.

The natural grocer will open its doors Dec. 14 to the hungry and health-conscious shoppers of Longmont in a buzz of activity that will include a raft of giveaways and nonprofit partnerships.

“We’re really grateful for the patience the community has had with us, for sticking it out,” said Heather Larrabee, Whole Foods’ executive marketing coordinator for the region.

The store, the chain’s 21st in Colorado, was supposed to open in January of this year. But lower-than-expected earnings amid increased competition in the natural food channel caused the company to delay the opening of this and other new stores.

With the exterior work already completed in December 2015, the 40,000-square-foot building sat vacant but ready for 10 months.

Larrabee said workers will begin putting the final touches on in mid-November, testing the equipment and stocking the shelves.

But the grocer has been present since June, she said, participating in community events held by Village at the Peaks and its developer, NewMark Merril.

The shopping center is 95 percent leased, with the exception of Sports Authority, which closed earlier this fall following a bankruptcy.

“Ozo’s Coffee had a strong opening; Closet Concepts opened recently; Boulder Cleaners will be opening at the same time as Whole Foods; and a number of other tenants are doing their buildouts,” said Allen Ginsborg, managing director and principal for NewMark’s mountain states division.

“It’s all moving along very well.”

Ginsborg said about 40,000 people visit Village at the Peaks each week, and he expects the addition of Whole Foods to add to that significantly.

For the grocer’s opening, the shopping village will be giving away a year of free groceries (52 $150 gift cards) to one lucky Longmonter and a month of free groceries (four $150 cards) to two other individuals.

(More information on the contest will be available the first week of November, when it officially launches.)

Whole Foods itself is partnering with Oskar Blues’ nonprofit foundation Can’d Aid to give away 100 bikes to children in need, and donating 5 percent of the opening day’s net sales to OUR Center.

In addition, tickets and merchandise for “Star Wars” spinoff “Rogue One,” debuting Dec. 16, will be hidden throughout the aisles during the opening weekend.

“I think folks will really be pleased with what we have to offer,” said Larrabee, referring to both the inaugural festivities and beyond.

“We really want to wow them.”

The prepared foods area is seen inside the Whole Foods at Longmont’s Village at the Peaks on Friday afternoon. The store is scheduled to open Dec. 14. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)