Ridgway Chamber restructures operations

Dear Editor,
The Ridgway Chamber would, again, like to thank the residents of Ridgway for voting last November to change the Lodging Tax percentage to 3.5% and the allocation of the Lodging Tax to 70% designated for marketing the Town of Ridgway and 30% to the Town. The Chamber received the contract for the LOT funds in February from the Town of Ridgway.Along with the new funding level comes additional responsibility for the Chamber and Chamber Board.
The 2016 Chamber has an experienced and dedicated board of local business professionals. The Chamber Board has unanimously voted to restructure the Chamber Board and Chamber operations for the betterment of the Chamber members and the Chamber services going forward. This restructuring includes but is not limited to the following: Instituting Policies and Procedures that make the Chamber, Board and operations more accountable and transparent / moving the Chamber operations into a more Internet and cloud based operation / focusing on new co-op marketing opportunities /upgrading our current web presence /focusing on marketing of Ridgway and our member businesses, etc.
All of our current services will remain the same: Visitors Center /E-Blast /After Hours/Ribbon Cutting /Chamber web site/Visitors Guide /True Grit Tours /etc.
Chamber 2016 activities to date: The 2016 Visitors Guide publication is outstanding and was distributed last month. Member Co-Op advertising in the Skyway magazine was completed.  Board and Chamber members attended SW Tourism Summit in Pagosa Spring last month focusing on Adventure and Heritage-Tourism and Tourism Ambassador training. The Chamber’s expected involvement in the CDOT RAMP up communication for Ridgway residents was changed due to the project Contractor’s hiring and use of its own information officer. Our Eblast has links to that CDOT web site for weekly update information. One of our new Board members is working on a shop local program “One Ridgway” for our businesses during the construction period and going forward. The Ridgway Chamber Board will be looking for ways to collaborate with the Ouray Chamber on grants and to maximize marketing dollars and future co-op events.
On Wednesday 5/25 at 7 p.m. at the Ridgway Town Hall the Chamber will sponsor an Economic Development  workshop with the Town Council. This workshop will be presented by the Region 10 Director, Montrose Economic  Development Corp Director, and other presenters. It will cover Economic Development 101 (how it’s done), Community Development vs. Economic Development, Business Loans available for Ridgway businesses from Region 10 during the construction period, Report on the Colorado Office of Economic Development’s State initiatives for local and regional Economic development grants, Report out on the SW Tourism Summit and a presentation on One Ridgway, a new shop local program to be launched this summer. This workshop will be open to all businesses and residents. We hope you can attend.
We thank the Town and all of our local citizens for their continued partnership in advancing the development of our community and look forward to the year ahead.  
Board of Directors
Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce