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    The Halls of Montezuma

    Nice N Easy plans to invade rural New York hamlet.

    MONTEZUMA, N.Y. -- Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc. said yesterday it is expanding its market base to Montezuma, where it plans to build the town's first convenience store.

    Fran Duskiewicz, chief financial officer of the Canastota, N.Y-based chain, called the 2.25-acre lot an ideal location, with as many as 16,000 cars passing through daily. The store, to open by Memorial Day, will feature fuel, pizza and sandwiches, as well as other convenience store staples.

    The store would be located approximately four miles from the center of town, according to The Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard. It would be the Nice N Easy chain's 75th store.

    Montezuma's population in the 2000 census was 1,431 -- nearly as high as it was in 1860, when it had 1,439 residents.

    "It's good news for the town and for the convenience of people in the town," said Robert White, Montezuma's town code enforcement officer. "I wish it were more in the hamlet than where it is, but that's probably the most profitable place for them to build."

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