There are undoubtedly some folks in the area who might not have been sorry to see that happen. Interestingly enough, the ceremony was conducted almost in the shadow of the El Matador restaurant, site of a property acquisition clash that's still a source of controversy.
No one made any reference to that either.
Master of ceremonies Armond Johansen welcomed all those on hand, noting the presence, and support, of West Bountiful Mayor Carl Martin, members of the city council and planning commission, city administrator Wendell Wilde, city engineer Bill Flanders, Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson and city manager Tom Hardy along with representatives of Key Bank and, yes, Costco.
"This is a day three-and-a-half years in the making," Johansen said, wearing a black plastic hard hat emblazoned with the words "West Bountiful Commons." The hats were passed out as mementoes of the day.
According to Johansen, 27 land owners had to say "yes" to assemble the development's 37 acres. As noted, not all came willingly. Still the developer was pleased with the ultimate result.
"This has literally reflected the spirit of America," he said, "where you take a dream and make it happen. You take government, entrepreneurs, land owners and capital, then bring them together. We are truly changing the face of south Davis County."
Kevin Campbell, manager of Costco's warehouse on 2100 South in Salt Lake, represented the corporate giant in accepting the pad prepared for its 426th store worldwide.
"This site is as important to Costco as any in the world," said Campbell. "You know, I've estimated that $15 million of business a year come through our store as a result of people visiting from Davis County. Wouldn't it be better if those dollars were kept here?"
"I hate to lose that," he added. "But there is a great synergy emerging here in Davis County and it's wonderful to see."
Campbell also spoke of Costco's commitment to the community, to bring quality products and reasonable prices to its area members. Its commitment to employees was no less impressive.
"Our starting wage is $10 an hour," he said, "and the average wage at our store in Salt Lake City is $20 an hour. We also shoulder 92 percent of a great medical program."
Campbell concluded his remarks by calling Costco "the Disneyland of commercial development," always offering some new product or service to its customers. He also paid tribute to the company's president and CEO James Sinegal, citing his support of the West Bountiful project.
Mayor Martin, interrupted his summer vacation to attend the ceremonies, and appeared quite pleased to be present.
"There were a lot of times over the last three years where we could have walked away from this project, but we stuck it out," said Martin. "Thanks to the dedication our city staff, the developers and RDA consultants this day has arrived.
"West Bountiful is a small community," he said, "and this will have a great impact on it. This will help us do some very special things for our residents. We hope you will all come back here and enjoy this new shopping center."