Years ago (late 1990s) I owned a vending machine business.

We sold the snacks that kept travelers, shift workers and high school students happy and moving.


And about once a month we would make the trip to Las Vegas to get the supplies needed to run our business. At Sam's Club and Costco in Vegas, we'd stock up on Snicker's bars, Grandma's Cookies and Diet Coke (among many other things).

Because there was no Costco in St. George at the time, the trip was absolutely necessary to keep our machines stocked. And we had to stop by both stores in Las Vegas because there were a few items that you could only find at one store or the other.

So when it was announced Costco would be coming to St. George, we were ecstatic. Especially because the same sources were telling us that a Sam's Club was also in the works.


As you know, Costco did build a store in St. George and it has been a boon to this county. So whatever happened to Sam's Club?

Sources tell me that they were close to making it happen back in 2000. Negotiations involved land off Exit 10, perhaps where Kohl's is located now.

But for whatever reason, the negotiations fizzled and Sam's Club never did land in Washington County.

Recently, Sam's Club announced it would be opening 30 new stores around the nation. The press release says the growth was spurred by:

"... historic comparable sales growth, and a record rise in membership over the last two years."

The company currently has 600 Sam's Clubs around the country and plans to add many more.

We've seen remarkable growth over the past few years with a record number of members, and we're excited to bring the experience of Sam’s Club to even more markets as we expand our footprint.

According to their website, Sam’s Club® is a division of Walmart Inc. and is a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products, savings and services to millions of members in 600 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The first new Sam's Club is in Florida, though no timeline was given for the announcement of the other 29 future locations of the store.

More from their website: "The new clubs will be approximately 160,000 square feet, larger than most current locations. Most new clubs will feature a seafood / sushi island, full-service floral, and walk-in dairy and fresh coolers. Additionally, members will benefit from a larger healthcare space inclusive of a patient waiting area, health services suites, private consultation rooms, and dedicated hearing and optical centers. Many of the new locations will also include fuel stations and liquor offerings.

"Notably, there will be a significant expansion in the omni-fulfillment footprint allowing for a dedicated space for curbside pickup, delivery to home and ship from club orders. This area will include walk-in coolers and expanded doors for outgoing delivery truck efficiency."

I do know this. St. George is ready and Sam's Club would be busy all the time. Don't believe me? Just stop by Costco pretty much anytime.

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Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and ritzy restaurants. Read on to see which town in your home state took the title of the richest location and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows—your hometown might even be on this list.

Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger

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