Whole Foods reached an agreement in 2005 to open at Willits Town Center, said the grocer’s regional president, Will Paradise, in a short presentation at the grand opening. He said his daughter, who was standing next to him on the flatbed of an old pickup while he addressed the crowd, was then a 1-year-old. Now she is 8. “I’m fully aware how long this has taken,” Paradise quipped.

BASALT CO REAL ESTATE — Roaring Fork Valley residents showed their enthusiasm for Whole Foods Market on Wednesday when wave after wave of shoppers rolled through the store starting at 10 a.m. and easing only slightly by midafternoon. The long-awaited natural and organic grocer opened at Willits Town Center in Basalt with a bread-breaking ceremony that replaced the traditional ribbon cutting. While the groundbreaking ceremony was well attended — with 250 or so gawkers — droves of shoppers came after the doors opened. The wait in checkout lanes was at 15 minutes by 11 a.m., but shoppers maintained a festive mood. “It feels vibrant and alive and is obviously teeming with people today,” midvalley resident Jennifer Lane said about the new store. “Nobody minds waiting. Everybody’s excited. I’m thrilled.” An informal survey of a handful of shoppers indicated they liked what they saw and will come back for more — often.
By Scott Condon, Aug 15, 2012 AT

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Opening Day, 8/15/2012, at Whole Foods, Basalt, CO