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Trade Talk: 'Fargo' has had an impact

A few weeks back, I asked Paul Govig, acting head of North Dakota's Department of Commerce, about the lingering effects of the 1996 film "Fargo" on perceptions of the state. He couldn't help but laugh. "The staying power of that movie," he told m...

Marino Eccher

A few weeks back, I asked Paul Govig, acting head of North Dakota's Department of Commerce, about the lingering effects of the 1996 film "Fargo" on perceptions of the state. He couldn't help but laugh. "The staying power of that movie," he told me, "has been incredible."

More proof was on display this week as the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau unveiled a replica wood chipper - complete with a replica leg sticking out the top - at this week's state tourism conference in Fargo. The model was only the beginning: Next month, the CVB is going to unveil the real thing.

As it turns out, one of the cameramen from the movie managed to hang on to the landscaping tool-turned-corpse-mulcher used during filming. The CVB tracked him down and made arrangements to get the wood chipper (and a handful of other movie memorabilia items) on display in town May 7-15. That coincides with National Tourism Week.

Given that precious little of the movie actually takes place in Fargo - and aside from a few establishing shots, virtually none of it was filmed here - this may in fact be the first time the wood chipper has been in the state.

Of course, it's not the first time tourism leaders have leaned on the film for marketing purposes. When pressed at out-of-state conventions to quote a line from the film (he assures me this actually happens), Govig

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will conjure up the requisite accent (thicker, perhaps, than the film itself lays it on) and oblige with, "And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper."

American Eagle overhaul coming

The details are scarce right now, but the American Eagle Outfitters at West Acres took out a permit earlier this month for what looks to be a major facelift.

West Acres marketing director Alissa Sorum told me she can't confirm the details right now but described the project as "a complete store remodel."

The work permit filed with the city is valued at $250,000.

American Eagle has been in the mall since 1999 and caters to teens and young men and women.

CF Foundation opens Fargo office

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fundraising for research on the chronic disease, announced this week that it's opening a Dakotas office in Fargo.

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The foundation, founded in 1955, has more than 75 chapters across the country. Its Great Strides fundraising walk - the organization's largest fundraiser - will be in Fargo May 7. The organization's goal is to raise $75,000 locally.

For more information, call the local office at (952) 237-0836.

Library looking to replace Dunn Bros.

A month and a half after losing its in-house Dunn Bros. coffee kiosk, the Fargo Public Library is soliciting proposals for a replacement.

The gig is pretty straightforward: coffee bar service in the downtown branch. Copies of the request for proposal are available at the library website ( www.fargolibrary.org ). Proposals are due at the library May 13.

You can also connect with Trade Talk online at www.tradetalk.areavoices.com

Readers can reach Forum business reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502.

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