By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes
The Keizer Chamber of Commerce will be moving to Keizer Station later this year, with ambitions to expand tourism services.
The business organization reached an agreement for a two-year lease on an 1,800 square foot space near Round Table Pizza. That’s more than double the space in their current digs inside the Keizer Heritage Center on Chemawa Road.
Chamber President Rich Duncan thinks the new center can be self-sustaining in part from advertising and flyers placed in their office. Both he and Executive Director Christine Dieker believe the location near Interstate 5 would draw interest from regional attractions.
“Say a restaurant might want to sponsor a banner or panel to showcase their product,” Dieker said. “That would produce a revenue stream which would eliminate some of the subsidizing we’ve been giving the visitor services.”
Self-sustaining is even more important in light of the Keizer City Council’s decision not to allocate more than $11,000 in anticipated transient occupancy taxes. Dieker said the mission to promote tourism remains despite losing that money.
“Our goal is to enhance all four phases of the chamber: The chamber is community, the chamber is the business community, and it’s events and tourism,” Duncan said. “We want (membership dues and fundraising dollars) going toward member services… increasing services to members and expanding our networking, our economic and government affairs committee, and spendinng the dollars where the dollars are due.
“We had some choices, but we chose to be proactive and get the job done,” he added.
The office should be open within the next 90 to 120 days, they said, and Dieker hopes to have the office staffed seven days a week, which means new hires as well as garnering new volunteers.
“We’ve seen an activity increase at Keizer Station,” Dieker said. “We feel like this is a really good move to be out there.”