Chamber Corner: Canandaigua Lake fosters ‘experience economy’

Protect our environment. Advance our economy. Attract new friends. These are familiar themes for those who call the Finger Lakes their home.

Our lakes are, quite literally, part of our identity – our brand – as a region. In addition to providing life-giving water, they provide scenery, recreational opportunities and a moderating effect ideal for grape growing. Ongoing efforts in runoff filtration, soil conservation and responsible farming are demonstrating our commitment to our legacy as an agricultural center as well as a destination of ecotourists.

Our extended community — downtown, lakeshore and uptown as well as Hopewell, Farmington and Bloomfield — are experiencing purposeful and thoughtfully managed growth. Housing and hotel starts. Vibrant retail and precision manufacturing. The Chamber is entering an agreement with the city and town of Canandaigua to form a local development corporation.

Our population is growing.

Ontario County is one of a very few counties in New York reporting population growth and with this growth comes both reward and responsibility. New friends bring new ideas and new resources to our community. They also bring their whole lives. Their cars and their families and their health needs and their demands for good schools and clean air.

Today, we as a community are focusing on sustainability. Whether it’s about the economy or the ecosystem, we’re thinking more than ever about the effect of today’s choices on tomorrow. And how careful choices can protect our environment, advance our economy and attract new friends.

That’s the motivation behind al fresco flx, a full day of facilitated conversations, skill-building and networking among current and aspiring actors in farm to table, agritourism and craft food and beverage.

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