Mt. Desert Island Regional Chambers of Commerce: As plans progress for construction of a new Visitors’ Information Center at the Gateway bus facility in Trenton, the quality of the Quietside’s representation is going to matter more and more. Half the visitors to Thompson’s Island Information Center planning an overnight stay, have not booked their accommodations. The Chamber Board wants to make sure that visitors see a reason to leave Route 3 for Route 102 and our active support for the Regional Chamber and its services will make a difference.
For those who don’t know, the Southwest Harbor and Tremont Chamber of Commerce is a member of the Regional Chamber which runs a tourist information center in cooperation with the Park at Thompson’s Island. Our activities and excursions members are generally well represented as are our campgrounds. Hotels and motels and some B&B’s use the services – weekly cottage rentals not so much. Restaurants are not well represented.
Regional Chamber members, Southwest Harbor and Tremont, Mt. Desert, Trenton and Schoodic Chambers are currently assessed annual dues based on their respective memberships at a rate of $16/member. With 143 members, Southwest Harbor and Tremont contributes the most money. Although Bar Harbor Chamber is not a member, Bar Harbor businesses use the Regional Chamber’s services at a rate structure higher than our own Chamber’s members.
Communications Strategies: The Board is reviewing its communications strategies with our members and our members’ customers. Currently the Board uses the Members’ Blog, e-mails, the website and face to face conversations to communicate with its members. The Board is considering adding a newsletter to the mix.
Communications with the general public include the website, the information center at Harbor House, the Trail Map, and the Port Directory. The Board is looking at the costs and benefits of adding a mobile website.
Budget: The Board passed the 2013 budget with a small increase to the funding for the pay per click program. The Board also agreed to expand the Trail Map to include parts of Mt. Desert – points north of Southwest Harbor and Tremont and on the eastern side of the Sound. 8,000 maps were printed in used in 2012. The plan is to print between 10,000 and 12,000 maps in 2013.
General Manager: The Board will begin advertising for the position of General Manager after the middle of this month with the view to filling the position before the end of March. If you know anyone who might be interested or be suitable for the position, please direct them to the Help Wanted page of our website.
Retail Relations: New Board member, Joan Steel (Salty Dog Gallery) has agreed to chair the sub-committee on Retail Relations. The Committee’s first project will be to work on three maps: Galleries and Art, Dining, and Retail that will include locations and contact information for area businesses. Printed in the office in color on 8.5x17 paper, these maps will be handed out at the office and by member businesses especially lodgings providers and serve to direct visitors to our local businesses and services.
Next Board Meeting: Wednesday, February 6 @ 10AM at the Chamber Office.