As the holiday season approaches, Fingerlakes Mall is adding stores — and possibilities.
The Aurelius shopping center this month added handmade clothing store Inti's Path and hobby shop Small Addictions RC, welcomed back Go Calendars and bumped up 20th Century Toys to full-time tenancy. Meanwhile, the mall has also signed 727 Entertainment, a new entity that includes rock promoter Gigsmack, to exclusively manage programming at its Event Center.
Inti's Path, which carries handmade clothing, jewelry, hats and more, is set to open in early November in the former Kay Jewelers space next to Bass Pro Shops' interior entrance. The store has previously opened locations in Destiny USA and Shoppingtown Mall in the Syracuse area, and Arnot Mall in Horseheads.
On the other side of the Bass Pro Shops entrance, 20th Century Toys is opening a new, full-time location in the former PacSun space. Owner Brian Catalano, who started the vintage toy shop in Weedsport in 2012, expanded his business with a part-time mall location in March. He's closing the Weedsport location, however, with the opening of 20th Century Toys' new home in the mall.
Across the concourse, Go Calendars has returned to the 4,000-square-foot space next to the Tracker Boat Center with its seasonal selection.
And closer to the J.C. Penney, Small Addictions RC is opening a store of its own in the former Showtime Sportscards, which has relocated next to the former Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft space.
Started by Chris Conrad in 2012 in Montrose, Pennsylvania, Small Addictions sells remote-control cars, boats, planes and quadcopters, as well as other related items, from MudBoss, Schelle Racing, Hobbywing and other brands. It also provides support and repair service.
The hobby shop first operated out of a 300-square-foot space inside Twissted RC Raceway, an indoor racing space that opened in February.
"It was stocked with stuff the racers would be looking for while they're there racing," Conrad said Wednesday. "I'm really surprised by how fast it grew."
Small Addictions' new space is more than 10 times the size of its previous one, Conrad said, and still neighboring Twissted RC Raceway. It's the latest expansion for his business, which encompasses two retail stores and an online customer base of 35 to 40 orders daily. Conrad also operates a line of RC racing batteries, Punisher Series.
Continuing Fingerlakes Mall's growth strategy in today's shrinking retail climate, it has made a move to improve its entertainment options at the same time it improves its shopping ones.
Mall Marketing Manager Vin Gleason has announced that as of Dec. 1, 727 Entertainment will take over programming at the mall's Event Center, which Gleason created two years ago in the 36,000-square-foot space that was once Steve & Barry's.
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The entity started with Gigsmack owner Mark DiGiorgio, who promoted the Feel the Burn Metal Fest and a concert by "Headstrong" artists Trapt in the Event Center this summer. After Gleason approached him about promoting all of the venue's events, DiGiorgio formed 727 with his brother Vincent and his brother-in-law Holvin Capeles.
Through 727, the three hope to continue booking concerts, beginning with Smackfest Dec. 9 and 10 featuring Bobaflex, Boy Hits Car and several more hard rock acts. Mark said Capeles will work some DJ and Latin music into the schedule, too.
On top of music, 727 plans to continue working with Lace Up Promotions, which presented mixed martial arts card The Beginning at the center in June. The next show, which could be MMA or kickboxing, will come in February, DiGiorgio said.
Also scheduled for early 2017 is Fingerlakes Comic Con, DiGiorgio said. In April, he continued, the center will host its first wedding. And in the summer, 727 will take advantage of the mall's abundant parking to promote bike nights with outdoor music.
"We're looking at everything," DiGiorgio said. "We're shooting to book it every weekend."