March 27, 2002 11:00 pm

Furniture West, which has stores in three cities in three states, is ready to open another one.

It will be on Highway 395 just north of the Hermiston city limits, said owner Gene Demeerleer. The grand opening is scheduled for April 5, with a sneak preview for invited guests on April 3.

Furniture West has been in business for 40 years, having been started by James Demeerleer, Genes father, in Moscow, Idaho. He later opened stores in Moses Lake, Wash., and in La Grande.

The Hermiston store will be about the same size as the La Grande store, with a 16,000-square-foot showroom.

It will be a mirror image of our success in La Grande, with the same selection at competitive prices, said Gene Demeerleer.

Ive been looking at the Hermiston area for about five years. The demographics are very strong, its a growing, aggressive community. Theres room for another furniture store.

Mike Daggett, with the firm for nine years, of La Grande will be the manager in Hermiston. Dusty Mattes, who has been assistant manager in La Grande, will become manager here.

As in La Grande, the Hermiston store will be adorned by a huge rocking chair, mounted on the side of the building.