Astoria has a new wireless store: Columbia Wireless opened April 1st at the corner of 6th St and Bond, just across the street from The Golden Star Restaurant.

Owner Susan Darnell is an authorized dealer for Sprint and Nextel wireless services. She's gone out of her way to help customers feel welcome in her new office.

"My store is comfy, lot of antiques and furniture, so people can be comfortable," she said. "People won't be standing at the counter. We can sit down and have a conversation about what they need in wireless service."

Darnell has been working in the wireless field for 20 years; she moved here recently from Longview.

She said many people are switching to Sprint locally because they are a fairly new wireless provider in the area and offer good coverage.

Darnell said overall the best strategy to help people decide if Sprint or another provider is a good fit is to sit down with her and compare detailed coverage maps she has available.

Darnell previously marketed Sprint and Nextel services in the Longview area, and now would like to become a household word on the coast. "I want to be the Les Schwab of cellular," she said.

She also sells accessories galore, for Sprint and Nextel equipment as well as Verizon and Cingular products.

Stop by for the Columbia Wireless Grand Opening on Mon., June 4th. The store is located at 609 Bond St. in Astoria; store hours are Mon. through Fri., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call (503) 325-5959.

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