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Orvis store's grand opening set this weekend

A large, new Orvis store now selling upscale fishing poles, Adirondack chairs, and dog beds, among other things, has a weekend of festivities planned in honor of its opening at the Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence.

Visitors can watch people make fishing lures, listen to a jazz band, or sample bison and elk jerky. The enticements scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are intended to draw people into the 17,000-square-foot store, which opened last weekend.

It is one of the company's five "destination" stores made distinctive with its unusual stone facade, a trout stained glass window and rod casting seminars.

"It's an experiential store," said Melissa Lemieux, spokeswoman for the Vermont-based company. "We have such a strong customer base in the area. It was a perfect fit for our demographic."

Orvis, which began as a mail order outfitter, has expanded from catalog sales to stores with sporting goods, furniture, clothes and pet supplies.

While the company has 33 stores nationwide, Orvis intends to open three more destination stores this fall.

The Eastern Hills owners, who have been investing in upgrading the mall, hope the Orvis opening spurs the mall's resurgence.

"I think it's pivotal," said Ellen Kaminsky, mall marketing manager. "It's right in line with the whole renaissance plan."

e-mail: mkearns@buffnews.com

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