BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - Bluffton residents welcomed a brand new Walmart to their town on Wednesday.
The superstore means an economic boost for the area, bringing with it hundreds of new jobs. You could hear the excitement during the grand opening, especially from new employees. Not only is the new Walmart creating new jobs, but it's also bringing another commercial establishment to the growing town.
New employees, town leaders, and community members gathered Wednesday morning for the ribbon cutting on Bluffton Road to officially open the store. This Walmart joins the new Bluffton Sam's Club that opened in the same plaza just last week. The two stores created about 300 new jobs in the area, adding to the commercialization of the coastal community. We spoke with Councilman Dan Wood, who represented the town at the opening. He says he wants Bluffton to keep its "small-town community-feel" while also having all of the commercial amenities close by that you would see in a much larger city. The goal is to keep growth happening within the town so it's not just a pathway to Hilton Head Island.
"Well, I mean obviously Bluffton is expanding exponentially. What's happening is our population is close to 20,000 now. Keep in mind, we were just one square mile with about 700 people, so we're exploding and it's just exciting. It's good. It brings a lot of young people here as well. We just want to see the opportunities continue," Wood said.
The town of Bluffton is about 54 square miles. Councilman Wood says it's booming. He says he's seeing more and more people choosing to live in the town, especially with amenities like Walmart putting them on the map.