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Business owners see Skaneateles as a good place to set up shop

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Business owners see Skaneateles as a good place to set up shop
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Skaneateles isn't just a popular summer tourist destination. Our Sarah Blazonis tells us what other group is rushing to make the village a more permanent home.

SKANEATELES, N.Y. -- Walk down Jordan St. in Skaneateles, and it's not hard to spot the signs of change.

"There's new stores opening, there's a couple stores that are adding additions to their stores, they're renovating. So, it's become really exciting and everyone's ready for summer," said Natalie Pepin, manager of the Skaneateles Bakery.

The owners of the Skaneateles Bakery are opening a new restaurant next door to their current location, The Corner.

And customers will notice changes in businesses like Skaneateles Jewelry, which underwent renovations.

Chamber of commerce officials say it's a welcome change from a few years ago, when the recession left several storefronts empty.

"It's been amazing. We've had, I think, 12 or 13 new members just in the last month alone, some that we've known about and others that have just sort of come in the door," said Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Susan Dove.

That rush is partly due to businesses wanting to get in the community directory the chamber puts together ahead of tourist season, but space to set up shop in the village is coveted year-round, with storefronts getting scooped up quickly after being vacated.

That demand continues to grow, with eight new businesses opening in the village in the past year and a half. The chamber even recently moved its location to make way for yet another new addition, Pride & Joy. The owners of the store, which sells clothing and other baby items, are busy getting ready for their opening Saturday. They say the village was always their first choice for a location.

"A lot of it has to do with the lake in the summer. We attract a lot of summer visitors, so that's exciting. I think that when you have good businesses here already, you're more likely to get more people here to visit," said co-owner Kathleen Zapata.

The brown paper is expected to be taken down from more windows by the time those visitors arrive for a new season by the lake.

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