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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Does Ocala need a Costco?

After hearing recent news that Costco is coming to The Villages, hundreds of local residents shared their desire to see the warehouse wholesaler expand into Ocala and Marion County.

On Monday, Villages-News.com reported that Costco Wholesale plans to open a new location in The Villages, just south of Ocala.

After hearing the news, our readers took to social media and our website to share their thoughts about the announcement:

Commenter asking for Costco in Ocala

Similarly, over the weekend, a story we published about a new members-only premium bar in downtown Ocala garnered hundreds of comments across our social channels and website about what Ocala does and doesn’t need.

One comment drew far more likes and reactions than any other:

A Facebook user posted this popular comment about Costco on one of our story's on Saturday, April 20. (Photo: Facebook)
A Facebook user posted this popular comment about Costco on one of our story’s on Saturday, April 20. (Photo: Facebook)

For nearly three years, we have received dozens and dozens of emails from readers who have asked for a Costco in Ocala.

“I’m a Sam’s Club member but would appreciate Costco. I believe Costco would be more beneficial for our overall growth,” said Ocala resident Linda Golden in a letter to the editor published in 2021.

After a Summer of similar letters in 2021, the next year, our website received another influx of letters asking for a Costco in Ocala.

“A Costco near Highway 484 and SR 200 would be the ideal spot. Dunnellon, Belleview, and all the 55-plus communities, some of which are building up like crazy, could use something like Costco. There is plenty of land for a Costco with adequate parking,” said On Top of the World resident Linda Hill in a May 2022 letter.

The following year, readers expressed the exact same sentiments.

“A Costco would make a big difference in addition to bringing more jobs to Ocala. The perfect spot is that parcel of land between Highway 200 and 484,” said Koreen McCallum in a letter published in August 2023.

That conversation continued for several months, with multiple readers writing in throughout the end of 2023.

“I agree that we do need a Costco here in Ocala, but please do not put it on State Road 200. That road is a death trap. Every day there is an accident. We need something here in the Shores area or even in the Silver Springs area,” said Michele Randles in a letter published in November 2023.

Currently, the only warehouse wholesale business in Ocala is the Sam’s Club located at 3921 SW State Road 200.

According to the company’s website, there are eight new locations planning to open this June, including one store in Florida (North Port).

Currently, the Costco nearest to Ocala is located over 60 miles away from the city, in Clermont. A location in The Villages could potentially cut that distance in half.

Would you like a Costco in Ocala? Share your thoughts in a letter to the editor.