In a recent community survey, the Waldport Chamber hosting a Visitor Center was deemed very important. With state mandates on publicly-owned facilities, it is likely that their long-time Visitor Center won’t be able to open for another 6-12 months. Given the prolonged uncontrollable delay, and importance placed on this function, the Waldport Chamber is excited to announce the upcoming opening of a new location at the corner of Hwy 101 and Hwy 34.
“We are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to rent the old Chocolate Frog space at 558 SW Hemlock, right next to Eager Beaver. It is great timing and the lease terms with the new owner are very favorable and fit well with the Chamber’s current needs and budget.” said Laura Furgurson, Executive Director of the Waldport Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Board VP and Destination Coordinator for the Oregon Coast Visitors Association, Jesse Dolan, also strongly supported the move, “the highly visible corner location has the potential to draw travelers, eager to discover what Waldport has to offer.”
Though the Chamber is finalizing plans on how to best set-up and utilize the space, they want it to become a gathering spot for the community. They plan to welcome area residents looking to get together or utilize Wi-Fi, visitors in search of regional activities, and businesses needing a productive meeting environment.
With the focus on creating an appropriate space, they’re planning to have small pods of seating to ensure required distancing and to abide by protocols similar to restaurants and retail shops. The Chamber will also leave things very flexible to provide event space, both inside and outside the building.
With the first right of refusal to possibly rent the adjacent space, the organization is seeking funding to potentially create a business incubator/catalyst center, teen entrepreneur program and “pop-up” shop space for regional products, along with shared work and meeting space for remote workers, local businesses and Chamber partners.
Abe Silvonen, with Eager Beaver Furniture and Bainbridge Investments LLC, stated, “We are excited to welcome the Waldport Chamber of Commerce as our new neighbor and tenant. As the gateway to Waldport, I can’t think of a better location for their Visitor Center. We are super excited to see more business activities at this major intersection. We will be doing a small cosmetic remodel to the building to suit their needs.” Tenant improvements will begin the week of October 19th with a hopeful opening date in November.
Waldport City Manager Dann Cutter said, “The city is excited to see the Chamber take this prominent step towards expedited access and a more dynamic effort in supporting Waldport businesses and growth. In turn, the city will be working diligently to remodel the newly acquired Alsea Bay Interpretive Center to be a complementary asset to the Chamber in coming years. We look forward to a strong and thriving partnership with the Chamber and ensuring the city provides a strong foundation for the Chamber’s efforts.”
As in the past, the Chamber’s Visitor Center will be run exclusively by volunteer hosts. If you’re interested to learn more, please go to: https://findyourselfinwaldport.com/volunteer/, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Waldport Chamber is also launching new Member benefits based on results from their recent survey. To access membership information for individuals, non-profits and businesses go to https://findyourselfinwaldport.com/chamber-information/. NEW Membership benefits grid/options are attached.
To hear about the Chamber’s progress over the past year and future plans, the community is invited to a State of the Chamber event in November. Location and time will be finalized soon, and a virtual option will be provided as well. For event details, check back at FindYourselfInWaldport.com under the Events tab.
Laura Furgurson, email@example.com or 541-815-0400