It's two days before IKEA's grand opening (the first one in Colorado), and home-furnishing hungry people have already started setting up camp outside the 415,000-square-foot store, which is located just north of Park Meadows Mall. According to the Denver Post, 40,000 customers a day are expected to head to the Swedish retailer during its opening "weekend."
While that might keep all but the most zealous shoppers away, here are four reasons to stop by...soon:
1. Besides the massive, staffed kids' play area—where you can drop off your tots for 45 minutes of kid-free shopping—the store doesn't sell any toys that run on batteries. The philosophy: Kids should use their imagination and move around more, not sit in front of a TV. And that's something we can all get behind.
2. Environmental responsibility: The Centennial store features the largest single-use commercial rooftop solar project in the state and uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling the building. Plus, IKEA doesn't carry incandescent bulbs, utilizes wood from sustainable forests—and it's a 0.7-mile walk just to get around the whole place. Do a few laps, and you've burned calories worthy of...
3. Those famous Swedish meatballs ($3.99). The 550-seat cafeteria offers low-cost breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings. But our favorite food spot is the Swedish Food Market near the store exit. Grab packaged desserts, jams, and other traditional Scandinavian eats (don't forget the meatballs!) and you've decorated your living room and found an easy-to-make dinner all in one place.
4. The store hired more than 400 workers—most of whom are locals—giving the area a much-needed economic boost.
Tip: Take the light rail. Your ticket gets you a major discount on home delivery.
9800 E. Ikea Way, Centennial, 303-768-9164
Photo: Daliah Singer