Boulder King Soopers renovations continue on 6-month anniversary mark

Grocery Store Tragedy

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Outside the South Boulder King Soopers, a chain fence once filled with cards and flowers now sits empty. 

In its place, yellow and orange sand bags signal an active construction zone, as crews work to renovate the inside, and outside of the grocery store. 

Wednesday marks six months since tragedy unfolded there, but the pain remains present in this community. 

“It feels like yesterday,” Logan Smith said. “But at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago.”

Smith was working as a barista inside the store when the shooting happened, and lost two friends, Denny Stong, and Rikki Olds. 

He says it’s bizarre to see the renovations taking place, and says it’s difficult to comb through the memories he has in the old store.

“To see the face of the store, knocked down, to see the skeleton of it is really surprising, and makes me emotional,” Smith said.

In an email, a spokesperson for King Soopers said, “restoring it is another step in the journey as we continue to rebuild and heal.” 

For the past few months, the parent company of King Soopers, Kroger, has been gathering feedback from workers, and shoppers, asking what they’d like to see happen as part of the redevelopment. 

The company has declined our requests to send along blueprints or examples of what those changes might entail. 

A spokesperson says, “The redesign of this location has been thoughtful and will include changes to the interior and exterior of the building and a redesign of the parking lot.”

Kroger was initially hoping to reopen the store by the fall, but a spokesperson says that timeline has been pushed back due to supply chain problems in the construction industry. 

They are now targeting a late 2021, or early 2022 reopening. 

Smith says the renovation will be a step in the right direction, and says he’s anxious and nervous to return to the store.

“Change is the definition of a new chapter in life, and I’m very grateful that the store is getting reorganized inside,” he said. “It does suck that any of this has to happen, because a shooting like that should not happen, there shouldn’t be a fence around this store, because the shooting shouldn’t happen, but in the end, what happened happened.” 

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