Black Friday shoppers to spend Thanksgiving in tents

By on November 19, 2012.

(Photo by Sarah Hill) Tents have been lined up outside the Orem Best Buy since the beginning of November for Black Friday.

Black Friday deal-seekers have been lined up since last Sunday outside the Best Buy in Orem, and some will be enjoying their turkey dinners inside their tents.

Although Black Friday is famous for its in-store deals, for these campers Black Friday is more than just cheap stuff — it is a tradition. The crowd ranges from dads with their sons to college students. Among these campers is Dale Burr. He and his sons have camped for the past seven years for Best Buy’s Black Friday.

“For me and my boys, this is a tradition,” Burr said. “We do this every year.”

Burr, second in line of the three tents, has a Play Station 3, a television and a heater inside his tent so whoever is in charge of watching the tent will still have the comforts of home.

“We have had three different people come inside our tent and look around thinking our tent is for sale,” Burr said with a laugh.

Burr said that he and his boys are usually first in line, but this year they were beat to the punch. Burr said that because they saw the first tent go up earlier than normal, his son was anxious to reserve their place in line. Thanksgiving dinner won’t be a typical dining room setting for Burr and his sons this year.

“My daughter will cook and bring Thanksgiving dinner to my boys in the tent on Thanksgiving day,” Burr said.

Best Buy customer service associate Paden Limb said that to ensure the people who wait the longest receive the opportunity to buy big-ticket items, the employees give out tickets for those who wait in line. Limb said some items are in high demand and that the store only stocks about 20 to 30 of each big-ticket item. Limb said the store has made a “Black Friday plan.” Each department of the store decides where the lines will go to ensure that traffic moves as quickly as possible.

“The first three hours are packed,” Limb said. “But now we have arranged our store so there won’t be masses of people in clumps, because last year was pretty hectic.”

Third in line at Best Buy are BYU students Ricky Carpenter and Hunter Phillips. They are the “newcomers,” in the group as they arrived late Thursday evening. The two are not waiting for Black Friday; rather, they are waiting for the release of the new Nintendo system “Wii U.”

“This is our last big chance to camp out for Nintendo and something that we love,” Carpenter said.

The two said that it gets cold at night but they took all the blankets from their apartment because they couldn’t find sleeping bags.

“We don’t really need to do this,” Phillips said. He continued to explain that the two have pre-ordered the Wii U already, but they are camping out to show their love for Nintendo.

Katrina Brocco, a pre-nursing major from Orem, has been going Black Friday shopping for six years as a family tradition. She said that her favorite thing about Black Friday is spending time with her mom and her sisters. For her, Black Friday is more than just getting the best deals.

“Black Friday is where some of our best stories come from,” Brocco said. “There is always something crazy that happens.”

Brocco said that her family shops on Black Friday at Wal-Mart and Best Buy every year. Brocco described the environment and the intensity that is prevalent at these stores during the Black Friday rush.

“It’s kind of crazy, but it is kind of an adrenaline rush,” Brocco said. “You are running to find what you want and get it as fast as you can because you want to get in line as fast as you can, so you can get out of there.”

Black Friday will happen nation-wide on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving.