Black Friday shoppers turn door-busters into Thanksgiving tradition

8:25 AM, Nov 25, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- For two families Black Friday has become its own Thanksgiving tradition. 

Camping outside of Best Buy every year is Michael Urso's and Ray Solomon's Thanksgiving tradition even though they camp out days before the actual holiday. 

They admit they have been called crazy.

"Some people think we are making too much of a deal out of the deals, but this has become our Thanksgiving tradition," said Michael Urso, a Black Friday camper who already has his tent pitched outside the Best Buy on Dale Mabry.

"I have been doing this for eight years," said Ray Solomon, another camper. "In the beginning, it was about the sales and deals. But now it's about coming out here and meeting all these people again. It's like a reunion every year."

Like other families during the holidays, these self-titled "Black Friday families" don't see each other all year until Thanksgiving. Their tradition is just a little more financially driven.

"The past 4 years we got tvs, this year it's my mom's turn to get a tv," said Urso.

They started lining up 8 days before Black Friday. 

"Every year it seems like they get here a little earlier than the last year, but that is because our deals start coming out a little sooner" said Wayne Saladino who is the Gaming Supervisor at Best Buy.

"We do all we can to make them comfortable out here. We have areas blocked off for the kids to play soccer in the parking lot area and this year we will have food trucks out there for the families."

See also: Black Friday store hours

They also have been providing electricity so the tents can be equipped all week. They also have laptops hooked up for internet access and Best Buy allows them to use the store's Wifi. 

"The first few years Best Buy was not providing electricity so we had generators and it was painful to be out here all day because of the smell of the gas from the generators and the noise at night was so loud," said Solomon.

The two families have even found a way to go to work while keeping their place in line. 

"Either we take time off, or take shifts because I have a job where I do not need to be at a certain place. I can work from home for some of my projects," said Solomon.

"We have some shoppers who might get jealous, I guess, and they will be rude and honk their horns at 3 in the morning when we are trying to sleep. I just want them to get in line too."

The Best Buy door busting deals started on Sunday, but the deals the campers are waiting for start at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. Best Buy provides tickets for their first several hundred customers and they expect the line at this location to go all the way to Himes Avenue by Thanksgiving Day. 

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