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Showroom Takes Pain Out Of Home Shopping

Wed., Sept. 6, 1995

Now this is low-key real estate.

You walk down the street in a beautiful, quality town like, let’s say, Sandpoint.

You know the usual routine. You walk by a real estate place and see the advertisements in the window. Some of the photos may be out of focus, and some of the information may be illegible. And you may question the timeliness of the ad since the paper is wrinkled and yellowed.

And maybe the door is locked. You have to call in advance to make an appointment.

But the ShowRoom in Sandpoint hopes to improve on some of the best aspects of the traditional real estate showroom, while creating a more low-key atmosphere.

Located in a new building at 111 N. First Ave., the ShowRoom is a gallery loaded with poster-size photos of houses and properties. You browse through the building, and you see a place you’re particularly interested in. You find the details about the property on the back, including what company or person is offering the place.

You can sit at a desk and use the pen and pad offered to write the information. Or you can use the telephone there to contact the seller.

ShowRoom essentially is a walk-in advertising agency of properties for sale. Sellers simply advertise their properties there.

The consumers use their own time to browse, compare and educate themselves about the local real estate market. Related services also are featured, including lenders, title companies, insurance companies, contractors, etc.

ShowRoom owners Tom D’Orazi, Steve Sykes and Dennis Coats left their former real estate businesses to begin the new venture, which opened Monday in its new, 1,200-square-foot building across from the access road to the city beach. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The grand opening will be Friday, Sept. 15.

Coats came to Sandpoint 20 years ago from California. D’Orazi came from the C-state four years ago, and Sykes from Alaska seven years ago.

“We target the walking traffic,” Sykes said. “Of the 82 ads (posters) we’ve sold, 65 percent have been with real estate companies and 35 percent to individuals or other concerns, such as banks.”

Two new stores in the Factory Outlets complex in Post Falls are Big Dog Sportswear and the Sunglass Hut. The new businesses leave the mall with one 2,250-square-foot opening, which has a probable tenant, according to spokesman Ed Adamchak.

Big Dog and its seven employees, managed by Angela DuPuis, offer functional, recreational clothing such as shorts, shirts, hats, swimwear and accessories for adults, including big and tall sizes, and children. Big Dog is next to the Chocolate Factory in the space formerly occupied by Greetings & More.

“Fashionable and functional sunglasses for the best price in town” is the claim of the Sunglass Hut, now in the space formerly occupied by Jewelry Direct (next to Famous Footwear). Manager Cassie Carrigan and employees offer brand-name products including Ray Ban, Serengeti, Jones and Vuarnet.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Review

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