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L.L. Bean in talks with village for “outdoor discovery school” in Cazenovia

— Ken Kacere, senior vice-president and general manager of retail at L.L.Bean, said at that time that one of the more notable aspects of the Fayetteville store transformation would be the inclusion of an Outdoor Discovery School.

A typical Kayaking Discovery Course offered by the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School is advertised as offering expert instructors to teach basic kayaking paddling techniques and safety skills as a way to try out the sport. After brief introductions and a safety talk, participants set out in a solo, recreational kayak to enjoy a guided, interpretive tour, learning about the ecosystem and history of the area.

In addition to Cazenovia Lake, L.L. Bean representatives also are considering Oneida Lake and Jamesville Reservoir as potential locations for the local discovery school, and both of those relevant municipalities are actively lobbying to be chosen, Joseph said.

The trustees were abuzz with the possibility of connecting the village to such a well-known and well-loved brand as L.L. Bean. They see Cazenovia’s beauty, character and rich outdoor activity offerings as a clear positive for L.L. Bean, while also anticipating an L.L. Bean program in Cazenovia would benefit the village through increased tourism, higher visibility and more downtown shoppers.

Trustee Peggy Van Arnam said having such a program at Lakeland Park would help enliven the downtown area and local businesses; Trustee Amy Mann said there could be possibilities of connecting the programs to the village’s summer rec program or the use of Carpenter’s Barn; Joseph said the influx of visitors from L.L. Bean activities could also have positive impacts on Cazenovia Preservation Foundation trail use and Cazenovia Area Community Development Association endeavors.

“Tell them there’s an interest, and where there’s a will there’s a way,” Mayor Kurt Wheeler told Joseph. “Their interests and our interests intersect here.”

Joseph said he would convey the message and report back to the board once he received further details from L.L. Bean.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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