Cranberry Eagle | Serving the Cranberry Twp, Mars, Evans City and Zelienople regions
CRANBERRY TWP – With more and more people venturing outside due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions, a new store in Cranberry is hoping to capitalize on their newfound sense of adventure.
Public Lands, which celebrated its grand opening on Friday in Cranberry Square, will offer services to buyers in addition to products related to the great outdoors.
The location is one of two such stores built by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Amber Rollo, general manager of the new Cranberry store, said the building’s design will help Public Lands achieve its unique purpose. In addition to over 100 guides – store staff who help equip, educate, and engage customers on a myriad of topics – the store’s foyer offers visitors a chance to learn in addition to shopping.
âYou first meet the people, rather than the products, when you walk into the store,â she said.
“Celebrate and Protect”
More than just a shopping experience, Public Lands has another goal: âTo celebrate and protect public lands for allâ.
In fact, this slogan is in large print right outside the front door.
Public Lands President Todd Spaletto said the store will do so not only by helping people explore the great outdoors, but also through volunteering, donating and partnering with local organizations.
“In the future, we will work with our nonprofit partners to support their missions and collaborate on programs that bring more people outside and take care of our local, national and national parks and recreation spaces.” Spaletto said in a press release.
At the local level, Public Lands collaborates with the Allegheny Land Trust and Venture Outdoors as well as with national organizations such as the Student Conservation Association and the Conservation Alliance.
Spaletto said staff at the Cranberry store have worked hundreds of hours with local partners on tasks such as cleaning up, creating new trails, and restoring existing trails.
Services and purchases
Bikes, clothing and other outdoor gear are on display at the new Public Lands store in Cranberry Township.
SEB FOLTZ / BUTLER AIGLE
Past the foyer, there is a wide choice of products from big and small brands. Turning right leads shoppers to an assortment of tents, lounging gear, and camp cooking utensils, which Rollo says provides the opportunity for all types of shoppers. From small one-person tents to larger family tents, the store hopes to serve those interested in hiking the Appalachian Trail to family campers.
âWe want more people involved because we know the benefits,â Rollo said.
But it goes beyond camping. In the footwear section, Public Lands sells a variety of footwear, from hiking boots to Birkenstocks and running shoes. Rollo said that something as simple as street racing can open up the world of outdoor activities.
Public Lands also offers the option for buyers to be fitted with hiking backpacks personalized for them, because, said Rollo, everyone’s body shape is different, their transportation needs are different and they are capable of. to transport is different.
The store offers rental of items such as ski and bicycle equipment, and also offers repair of this equipment. Some of its staff specialize in areas such as rock climbing and ski boot fitting, which the company calls a “key resource” to get started.
Rollo said a major way to get more people interested and excited about public lands is the connections between buyers and between clients and staff.
âWe’re all on the connections and talking to people who just walked inâ to experience the great outdoors, she said.
That is why the store also offers courses on a wide range of topics.
âThere are a lot of people who want to try a new activity and they want to do it with confidence and safety,â Rollo said.
The social aspect of being outside is also an important point within the store, and for good reason, according to Rollo.
“When you help them dress for that, they come back, and they come back with pictures and they come back with stories,” she added.