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The Auburn Downtown Business Improvement District is starting a student discount program.

Earlier this year, the district surveyed 130 Cayuga Community College students to "help decipher what activities & services would attract them to downtown Auburn," BID said in a news release this week. Results showed that the highest-ranked leisure activities included dining on inexpensive food, with examples such as food trucks, and live music, with an outdoor street festival as the preferred venue for it. Fitness activities and comedy performances received top rankings as well. Clothing and footwear were at the top for shopping, followed by gift shops.

The survey results also revealed 58% of CCC students "would live downtown if rent was affordable," the news release said. The top three ideas for new businesses and amenities offered downtown were clothing stores, a night club and a dog park.

"Other interesting ideas included a youth center with a lounge space to do homework, play video games & musical instruments, sing & create art, "the news release said. "Also desired by students was an athletic center that offered paint ball, mini golf, laser tag, a skate park and a swimming pool."

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After collecting the survey results, BID approached different business owners about interest in offering discounts to students, and 16 merchants promptly responded favorably.

The businesses participating are Auburn Public Theater, the Rev Theatre Co., Historic Grounds Coffee, Hunter’s Diner, Mesa Grande Taqueria, Moondog’s Lounge, Moro's Table, Parker’s Grille & Tap House, Subway, Finger Lakes Scuba, The Liberty Store, Sam’s Shoes, Silbert Optical, Elements Salon, Fred’s Barber Cuts and Hairlooms Salon for discounts from establishments such as downtown retail shops and downtown eateries, according to the news release.

Those interested in more information can contact the Auburn Downtown Business Improvement District at (315) 252-7874.

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