From the Chamber: 2019 brings change to Steamboat Springs Chamber
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Happy New Year, Steamboat. What do you think about when the first month of the year arrives? For me, it’s reflection on the past year’s accomplishments and looking forward to seeing all that can be achieved. This year, I have the rewarding job of being board president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber.
Through my involvement with the Young Professionals Network, Leadership Steamboat and being a six-year board member of the Chamber, I’ve been able to connect with and understand the importance of this organization to the vitality of our valley.
The year 2018 brought change to the Chamber. We started the year by bringing in consultant and industry expert Dave Radcliff to help strengthen the alignment between our organization, membership and the community.
With 19 individual stakeholder interviews, more than 60 participants in focus group interviews and over 115 responses to our community and member surveys, we heard from a wide cross section of our community. We received powerful feedback on the desires, needs and wants of our membership and community and direction on how the Chamber could be reimagined to better serve these needs.
The results have been outstanding. In addition to a new vision, mission and logo, we created the community development department to strengthen community partnerships and initiatives. We also expanded our economic development impact by initiating business advocacy efforts and developing a business expansion and retention program.
In 2018 we launched a new website, Steamboat was added to the state’s Rural Jumpstart Program and don’t forget the first annual Women’s Summit. Did you catch all that? While that was all happening, our accommodations tax grew in all our target months of May, June, September and October. Needless to say, 2018 was a big year for the Steamboat Springs Chamber team.
Looking at the year ahead, the Chamber board and staff will be working hard to support businesses and the community as a whole. Not only will we continue to grow and harness all that the Chamber already does for our members and the community, but we have some exciting goals ahead of us that we will be tackling over the next year. We will be the communication conduit for the business community, advance economic diversification efforts and continue to grow our business advocacy efforts.
Rising to the top is our goal to attain stable and sustainable long-term destination marketing funding. We must move away from the annual request for the city to allocate funds from the general fund to pay for destination marketing, so we are no longer competing with traditional city services and have a dedicated funding source.
We have been working hard to find alternatives and are getting close to a strong solution. This will allow us to continue to grow our current efforts as well as strengthen our goals of attracting higher-value guests and enhancing the visitor experience with the end result of supporting business growth.
All in all, through everything we have done and what we want to accomplish, we are working hard to make the new Steamboat Springs Chamber impactful to members and the community. If you want to be more involved with what we are doing, please talk with us and become a member. If you are already a member, ask yourself if you are taking advantage of all that your membership offers you and your business and please attend one of the Chamber programs or a committee meeting.
We have a lot of change coming our way, and I encourage all of you to be a part of the new Steamboat Springs Chamber. Thanks for being such a great community and on behalf of the Chamber Board and staff, I wish you all a prosperous new year.
Glen Traylor is the Steamboat Springs Chamber board president.
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Last year’s occupancy rates in Steamboat Springs were abysmal, so when compared to last year, this summer’s outlook is generally trending positive — but it’s not quite a return to pre-pandemic highs.