CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – A week and a half before ‘Black Friday‘ and campers are already lining up outside the Best Buy on Howe Road to get their hands on the best of the bargains.
Jonas Allooh is the first in line, putting up his tent at 5 p.m. on Monday.
He said this is the third year for him, although he has a friend who has been staking claim to a place in line for the past seven years.
Inside their tent are all of the comforts of home: a bed, a microwave, a television and most importantly heaters.
“It’s cold; it’s windy, and sometimes it rains and snows, so you have to be careful and make sure you stay warm.” said Allooh.
Next door to him is another long-time Black Friday camper, Tony Avitar, who has made it a tradition for the past eleven years.
“I think it was the second year I did it; nobody had the bright idea of camping out in tents. So, we just did sleeping bags on the sidewalk, and it was freezing rain for sixteen hours,” said Avitar.
Both have friends and family who take turns staying there in shifts, including Tony’s parents.
“He had to go take a shower so we’re here filling in for him until he gets back,” said his mother Janet Regic, who cooks for her son, and actually waited in line last year in a wheelchair.
“I wanted to stop three or four years ago, and my kids make me do it because they like coming down. We usually have Thanksgiving dinner brought to the tent, so we’ll have a full spread in the tent, and it’s kind of my time with them,” said Avitar.
The campers said they already know what bargains they hope to get including tablets, laptops, and big screen television sets.
The store has not yet even published its entire Black Friday bargain list.
“We call it controlled chaos,” said Manny Rodriguez, the store manager who has come to know the regular campers like family.
“We’re going to control it to make sure our customers are safe but also have fun,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez welcomes the campers, saying the deals they will get are worth the wait.
He explained that there will be storewide bargains throughout Black Friday, and plenty of merchandise in stock for anyone not willing to stay in line.
Those in line know there are people who are not bashful about offering their thoughts.
“I think they are crazy,” said Lisa Hutchinson of Aurora, adding “It’s not even Thanksgiving and people are already out here sitting in their tents.”