Dozens of people camp out for IKEA grand opening in Fishers

People camp Oct. 9, 2017, outside the Ikea in Fishers. (WISH Photo/John LeSage)

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — The city of Fishers is preparing for the grand opening of IKEA and increased traffic Wednesday morning around 116th Street.

They’re anticipating hundreds of cars per hour on top of the usual traffic.

Some people have been camping out since early Monday morning and they told 24-Hour News 8 they are not doing it for the free furniture, but for the experience.

Black Friday came early in October as dozens of people set up their tents and lawn chairs waiting in line for the grand opening.

“I’ve never camped out for tickets, movie passes or something like that. I just thought, that just sounds like a fun idea, check it off the bucket list,” said Angee Walberry, who lives in Indianapolis.

The first 45 people will get a free three-seat sofa and the next 100 in line will get a free armchair. The first 100 children (17 years and younger) will receive a heart shaped soft toy. The first 2,500 adults that enter the store will also receive a random mystery prize with an IKEA gift card or voucher for a food item.

“I swear when we got in line I was like ‘I don’t even care about the couch,’ like I really did want to come to just camp out and all of our friends come to visit us and they think we’re crazy,” said Aletha Cooper, who is a teacher on a fall break.

The camp zone at IKEA was filled with people of all ages with adults and kids doing different things to pass the time.

“Everyone has been really friendly. I met a lot of new people, they’re juggling back there and he’s teaching people how to juggle,” said Victoria Tuntland, who came with her mom.

Some people have been to a different IKEA location before, and for others it will be their first time inside the store.

“It’s the first time I have ever done anything like this. I’m just excited to do it. I’ve never been to an IKEA before so I’m excited to get in there and see what it’s all about,” said Deb Mattocks.

The excitement on opening day will cause a lot of traffic for the 116th corridor.

A spokesperson for the city of Fishers told 24-Hour News 8 city officials have been working with INDOT and surrounding businesses on the traffic routes. The city also created a guide to help people navigate the area and put together a map showing the alternative routes.

“We brought in 500 construction jobs, we hired locally, we have over 300 coworkers ready to start tomorrow, so really looking to be part of Fishers and the Indianapolis area,” said Latisha Bracy, who is a representative for Ikea.

24-Hour News 8 learned some people had to take days off from work to wait in line.

Fishers Police Department posted a message Tuesday afternoon on Facebook with advice for those planning to visit the store.