Doors open to Spokane's Apple store

SPOKANE - Hundreds of Apple fans and loyal customers lined up early Saturday morning to be the first inside the company's new store in downtown Spokane.

The computer company opened seven retail stores worldwide on Saturday. Spokane's store, located in the old Eddie Bauer space at River Park Square on W. Main, is the sixth Apple store in Washington.

Just before the store opened, the line to get in stretched down Main for a couple of blocks. At the front, Liam Rogalski and his best friends camped out on the sidewalk overnight to be among the first few into the store Saturday morning.

"We watched some movies on my iPod and then my iPod died, so we've just been talking mostly," said the 15-year-old Rogalski.

Keith Clark was the first Apple fan to line-up in front of the store Friday afternoon.

"It's the experience, I mean look at all these users here" said Clark. "Plus you get one of a thousand limited edition t-shirts that they will never print again."

The doors opened at 10:00 a.m. and quickly hundreds of customers filed inside to check out all the Apple products and accessories.

"There's a lot of techies around here, so I think they are really going to enjoy it," said Brandon Smith, who joined the crowd Saturday morning.

"I think Apple has managed to do something that no other company has managed to do, other than Starbucks - they've created an identity around the brand," said fan Thomas Brown.

It's a brand 20-year-old Tucker Clarry said he needed for school. Clary was among the first to actually buy something from the Spokane store, a brand new MacBook Pro laptop.

"I was thrilled that people were happy to see me," said Clarry as employees cheered to the purchase, some even stopping for a photo-op with Clarry.

The store hired 70 employees, a quarter of which live in Spokane. Many hope the new store will boost the local economy.

"It means that Spokane is a lot bigger. We are on the map, so-to-say," said one customer.