NEWORLEANS- Hundreds flocked to the new Costco on Carrollton Avenue which officially opened its doors on Saturday.

The big box store attracting curious shoppers from across the metro area.

Now local businesses are hoping to cash-in on the spending frenzy.

'I traveled all the way from the East to come here. I'm ready!,' said Kanitra Caston-Hill who showed up to the wholesale warehouse with her 4-year-old son despite the rain.

'I am so excited and stoked about this. I want businesses in my city. Spend my money where I live,' said Caston-Hill.

The sentiment was echoed by Matthew Zdarko who made the trek from Algiers.

'I like spending my tax dollars here in the city instead of going to another parish,' said Zdarko.

The 148,000 square foot warehouse fills a post-Katrina void replacing the old Carrollton Shopping Center.

'Costco is our great alternative, I guess,' said Barbara Anderson. Her family hopes the big box store will make way for future retail development in the city including New Orleans East where they live.

'New Orleans does need it. I hope it opens the door for other companies to come,' said John Anderson.

This is Louisiana's first Costco. The company choosing New Orleans where shoppers traditionally support locally owned businesses.

'They're going to balance their purchases between local businesses and national businesses,' said General Manager Lynn Morvant with Jefferson Feed Pet & Garden Center. A mile away from the Costco shopping frenzy, loyal customers continue to show up to the center. Morvant hopes the big box momentum will trickle down to mom & pop businesses.

'New Orleans is a great place to do business. With the traffic patterns and the people coming to this area wanting to shop,' said Morvant.

As the curious drive-in from near and far to partake in the whole-sale shopping experience, locally owned businesses will have to wait to see, what if anything, the throngs of shoppers will mean to their bottom line.

The City says the $41-million Costco facility is suppose to generate a fiscal impact of $21 million in New Orleans over the next 10 years.

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