By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
After a long sojourn to an office in Keizer Station, the Keizer Chamber of Commerce is coming back to River Road North.
Executive Director Danielle Bethell made the announcement during a Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 5. The new office will be located at 4118 River Road N., but Bethell wasn’t sure exactly what day it will open.
“Moving back to River Road was one of the three priorities when I was hired,” said Bethell, who was hired in April 2016. “We started the conversation soon thereafter, but we had to have some growth before we could make it happen.”
The new space will nearly double the available square footage of the Chamber’s existing Keizer Station office, from 900 square feet to 1,650. It will allow for dedicated offices and a boardroom for meetings as well as a new visitors’ center.
“It will be a large open space, and there will be information for tourists, like maps, but also showcasing things like the drama program at McNary High School or Keizer Homegrown Theatre,” Bethell said.
It will also allow the Keizer Chamber to take part in larger tourism efforts put together by Travel Salem and Travel Oregon. Bethell said it will be a stop on the Oregon Wine Charm Trail.
The office hours will stay the same, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Bethell plans to use the new location to bring new attention to businesses south of Dearborn Avenue.
“Everything from Dearborn north does well because it has more landscaping and access to parking. Everything south of Dearborn is a little more out-of-sight-out-of-mind,” Bethell said. “I plan to go door-to-door with all the businesses south of Dearborn in hope of creating chances for our current members, who are already in the loop, to sit down with the business owners in south Keizer and find solutions for success.”
That might be something as big as revitalizing the River Road corridor or as small as figuring out how to better promote a business on its current site under a recently-changed sign code.
“Ever since signing the lease, I’ve been able to spend more and more time on River Road and it’s given me a new window into what is going on,” Bethell said. “Every time I see something new happening, I wonder what the Chamber can do to benefit the businesses and bring that conversation to the community.”