It had to happen sooner or later. The bragging rights for who's first on line at an Apple Store opening has finally gotten competitive. San Diegans Eugene Oyarzun and his father Francisco thought the only way to ensure their position was to arrive the night before at the South Coast Plaza in Orange County. They slept in their car, in the parking lot and were joined by Bob Douglas of San Pedro at around 3:45 a.m. Other San Diegans, Jim Davis and Adam Chaney thought they'd be first, driving north in the pre-dawn hours to arrive at 5:30 a.m.
When doors to the South Coast Plaza opened, Oyarzun and Davis rushed forward, confident in their success, only to be met by smiling Davis and Chaney, already in line at the store's portals. Davis and Chaney had somehow been mistaken for employees and took a side entrance, winning their coveted prize: first in line, first to enter the store at 10 a.m.
The 24th store to open has not shown any decrease in excitement. Well over 300 customers stood in line at the opening, and several of the South Coast management stood by in awe. The pre-opening pep rally hasn't diminished yet, either. Music blaring and high-fives upon entering are keeping those just outside in high spirits.
People arriving at nearby John Wayne Airport now have a choice when they get into a taxi. The airport is arguably equidistant between this store at South Coast Plaza, and the recently opened Fashion Island venue. Many of the customers here today were also in attendance at the Fashion Island opening, as well as Glendale and Northridge, and Fashion Valley stores. Paul Sucgang, a medical student drove in from Pomona. He'd attended all the Los Angeles/Orange County openings.
It's becoming more of a cult competition than a purchasing jaunt. Rob Harman, web master from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo is here for the free t-shirts. He's not alone. Ray Chang of Brea, Steve Mangels of Lake Forest, and Alan Kindred of Orange are all here "for the event" rather than any specific purchase.
"It hasn't gotten old yet", one customer shouted. And indeed, he is right. An hour after opening, people continue to stand in line, and others continue to arrive.
And what about our Bragging Rights champions? Well, Davis and Chaney may well have been the first in the door, but intrepid Oyarzun and father beat them to the register. Eugene Oyarzun was among first to buy, toting away a Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. He handed his purchase, t-shirt and all to his father Francisco, got more money from his dad and at last report is looking for more things to buy.
Apple today also opened a store in Clarendon in Arlington, Virginia.
This story, "Excitement continues at Apple Store opening" was originally published by PCWorld.