Chamber settles in new office with VIC
August 27, 2008 · Updated 4:05 PM
ARLINGTON The rustic, barn-like architecture with a boulder-strewn stream landscaped inside of the new Pilchuck Plaza provides an ideal location for the new Visitor Information Center and office to the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce.
Its been more than a month since volunteers set up their brochure racks at the new Visitor Information Center in early October and they have been a bit lonely, said Jennifer Bravo (formerly Owen), visitor services manager for Snohomish County Tourism Bureau.
We have a request in to the Washington State Department of Transportation to install signs on I-5, and the city of Arlington will be installing and maintaining signs on Smokey Point Boulevard, Bravo said.
Our volunteers are very excited about the new location, added Bravo, who said they always welcome new volunteers to help provide information at the VIC. Bravo is responsible for training new volunteers and Snohomish County Tourism offers special-topic training on destinations in the county.
The new chamber office/VIC is located at 3710 168th St. NE, Ste. 305, across from the U.S. Post Office in Smokey Point and behind El Gitano Restaurant, east of Smokey Point Boulevard from the Hawthorn Inn, just two blocks south of 172nd Street.
The executive director of the chamber, Sharon Shaw is happy to be out of the small closet office on the third floor of Hawthorn Inn and into her new office with windows all around.
After my vacation, now I have started settling into my new office, Shaw took time off to visit her homeland in Montana during the transition.
The new office is comprised of four rooms, the main entry room is home to the VIC, Shaws office, a boardroom for meetings, and other miscellaneous essential space.
I love showing off this new place, Shaw said. Everyone is welcome to come and see the new digs and get to know the new chamber. Shaw said she is getting along fabulously with the volunteers, gladly sharing cookies.
The president of the chamber, David Boulton, who became president from his position as vice president in July after then-president Susan Nelson was transferred out of town, believes the new office will serve the chamber and the community well.
I believe this partnership with Snohomish County Tourism is very good for us, said Boulton, owner and manager of Flowers by George in downtown Arlington.
And the new office with big windows is so much more pleasant for Sharon than that small office at the Hawthorn.
The chambers board of directors met in the new boardroom for the first time at its regular meeting on the fourth Thursday in October, but the general membership meetings will continue at the Hawthorn Inn.
We hope to have a good turnout at the Nov. 14 meeting, because I will present a state of the chamber address, Boulton said adding that the proposed slate of directors for 2007 will be voted on Nov. 14, as well. The meeting starts at noon. Please RSVP to Sharon at 360-659-5453. Lunches are $15 with RSVP and $17 if you show up at the door with no advance warning.
The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce will soon celebrate its first year after the consolidation between the Arlington and Smokey Point chambers of commerce last year at this time. Since the city of Arlington had slated a reconstruction project for Legion Park where the Arlington chamber called home for the past 12 years, the merged chambers decided to partner with the Snohomish County Visitor Information Center and relocate in a location convenient to visitors.
Were really excited about this new partnership with the city of Arlington, Bravo said. This location is very convenient off of I-5. Its perfect for people coming down from Canada.
The mission of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce is To cultivate a business community that works together to enhance economic vitality in the greater Arlington area.
Ride the bus to chamber meetings next meeting Nov. 14
Downtown Arlington businessmen and women are invited to ride the bus to the monthly Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce membership meetings at Hawthorn Inn in Smokey Point, courtesy Charles Yeaton of Olympic Place Retirement Community.
The free ride leaves from City Hall at 11:35 for the membership meetings that start at noon at Hawthorn Inn in Smokey Point. The bus returns by about 1:30 p.m.