Seasonal theme big on Black Friday eve |

Seasonal theme big on Black Friday eve

John Barrette
Lesley Goldwater, General Manager of the Courtyard Marriot in Carson City, sits at the front of the line at Best Buy on Thanksgiving Day with hopes of getting inexpensive Christmas gifts for her employees. This is her fourth year being at the head of the line.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

Lesley Goldwater offered up a true reason of the season in explaining Thanksgiving Day why she had staked out the top spot for Best Buy’s Black Friday opening.

“It’s really, really, really about my employees,” said Carson City’s Courtyard Marriott general manager, noting it was her way of thanking them by looking ahead to a holiday party. “They are extremely deserving.”

Goldwater, who lives in Gardnerville and commutes to Carson City, has been doing early Black Friday stakeouts for years to buy gifts to her crew at the lodging property’s seasonal party, which also features food and beverages. She said she has just a small budget with which to work. The party is for 30 employees she praised for dedication and loyalty.

Four years ago, she said, someone beat her to the first-in-line spot for Black Friday shopping, but back then Black Friday doors didn’t open until 5 a.m. on Friday. Her stakeout that year began at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

This year, Best Buy in northern Douglas County opened at 5 p.m. on Turkey Day. So this year one of her co-workers got there before anyone at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and she took over the waiting game at 3 p.m. on that mid-week day. By Thanksgiving at mid-morning she had long since been joined by more than a dozen others waiting for deals at the electronics outlet.

Among them were the couple second in line eager to purchase a 50-inch Panasonic television set for $199, an advertised special, as well as other random items. They are Isay Lamas and Karla Marischal of Carson City, who were busy checking cell phone apps on shopping and printed advertising about possible deals.

Goldwater, meanwhile, said she also planned to finish up her shopping spree for employees at Wal-Mart. For her, it was a seasonal labor of what the holidays are all about.

“It’s because they’re so giving,” she said, tying the theme of the holiday season and the need for that attitude year round in the hospitality business.

The Black Friday tradition each year seems to creep into Thanksgiving Thursday. Best Buy was joined by JC Penney here in opening at 5 p.m. on Turkey Day, for example, and there were 6 p.m. openings for such Black Friday sales at other national chains represented here like Kohls and Target.