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Destiny pushes to expand its reach this holiday season

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Destiny pushes to expand its reach this holiday season
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For the first time in its more than 20 year history, all of Destiny USA's stores will open their doors at midnight on Black Friday. But that's not all. As our Sarah Blazonis tells us, it's all part of Destiny's push to expand its reach beyond New York and U.S. borders this holiday season.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- If you're one of those people who would rather lie on a bed of nails than go shopping this Black Friday, you're in luck. That's actually an option since Wonder Works will open its doors at midnight, along with all of Destiny USA's stores.

"Some individuals don't like shopping, male or female, but they enjoy great food," said Destiny USA team member David Aitken. "Wonder Works is for people of all ages."

Other attractions, like Pole Position Raceway and several restaurants will also be open for shoppers to enjoy. Mall officials say it's part of an effort to make Destiny stand out this holiday season and beyond.

"We're seeing this as a place where we put out the welcome mat, invite those from Syracuse and Central New York, but equally focus on bringing in people from outside the area to experience all we have to offer," said Aitken.

Destiny's post-rebranding marketing campaign has focused on reaching the 130 million people who live within a day's drive.

Georgia resident Deb Carey and her family are a bit outside that reach, but they're working the new attractions into their holiday plans.

"I have several brothers and sons that are coming in to do a competition in the go-karts. This part we didn't know about, but my daughter is challenging anybody to go up with her. So, yeah, may not shop, but definitely have fun," said Carey, who's in town visiting relatives.

In addition to the new offerings, shoppers are also going to find many empty storefronts and 'Coming Soon' signs. Mall officials say they're hoping people look at it as a reason to come back.

"Next week it's OptiGolf and I know a lot of your viewers are interested in Gordon Biersch, T.G.I. Friday's and P.F. Chang's, all of which are going to be open in December," said Aitken of businesses opening their doors soon.

Officials say attendance is already up since the rebranding, and they're hoping continued outreach to markets from Scranton, PA to Ottawa, Canada continues to pay off.

Wonder Works will also be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

A spokesman for Destiny USA tells us they've seen attendance spike especially among Canadian visitors. Normally they make up about 15 percent of shoppers, but that number has recently jumped to 25 percent.

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