HomeXpo focuses on local vendors
By R.A. Monti
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
StrongLand Chamber of Commerce President Allan Walzak thinks this weekend's HomeXpo presents a great opportunity to folks in the Alle-Kiski Valley.
“People that come to our show have the opportunity to interact and buy from local people,” he said about the show, which runs from Friday through Sunday at the Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer. “These are people that live and work right here.
“Some of the bigger homes shows you could be dealing with people all the way from California, or have someone from West Virginia put in your bathtub.”
This year's StrongLand Chamber of Commerce HomeXpo will feature more than 150 booths covering most of the mall's corridor, Walzak said.
Attractions at this year's HomeXpo include an arts and crafts area, local bands and dance troupes, and a full-size modular home built by Vandergrift company Riverview Homes, in the mall's parking lot.
A new feature to this year's home show is the Convention Showcase, an Alcoa-sponsored competition between local middle school students to see who can create the best original invention.
The Convention Showcase will take place on Saturday and Sunday in the mall's 20,000-square-foot expo center.
Performances from some of the area's local bands and dance troupes will occur hourly each day.
Walzak said he expects more than 30,000 people to pass through the mall during the show's three days.
Darrell Erdos, president of Speedy Furniture, said his company is going to the HomeXpo for the first time in hopes of attracting some new customers.
“We're expecting to increase our customer base and show people how much money you can save on furniture,” Erdos said of his company, which has Alle-Kiski Valley locations in Lower Burrell and Kittanning.
Erdos said his company will bring some of the furniture it sells to the show in order to show the quality that Speedy Furniture sells.
A company with strong ties to the StrongLand Chamber of Commerce, Parkview Landscape and Lawn Care, will be attending the home show for the fourth straight year, according to co-owner Bill Staniszewski.
“It's the best return for our money we get,” said Staniszewski, who owns the company along with his brothers, Rick and Joe. “We're trying to expand into a new market this year. We hope to meet some new customers.”
Staniszewski — who said his company gained 20 new accounts from last year's HomeXpo — said he and his two brothers graduated from the StrongLand Chamber of Commerce's entrepreneurial program.
“It really helped us get our business off the ground,” he said of the class.
Walzak said that the Home-Xpo is an inexpensive way for folks to spend their weekend.
“It's free entrance and free parking,” he said. “We'll be giving away a three-night stay at the Westgate Resort in Orlando with airfare donated by the Arnold Palmer Airport.
“People like to see local chambers of commerce promoting local business, this is the place to see it.”
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