In an email to its members on July 30, the Paonia Chamber of Commerce announced that effective Aug. 1 it would no longer staff a visitor center.
President Annette Pretorius wrote:
"Over the last 3 years the Paonia Chamber of Commerce has had a lot of success staffing and running a visitor center for Paonia. Last year alone we had over 4,000 visitors come to the center and receive information on local businesses as well as general tourist information.
"This year the board has reviewed the Chamber's priorities and decided to concentrate our efforts on services that benefit member businesses, such as Business After Hours, social media marketing, new resident packets and keeping our website up-to-date with valuable information for businesses, other tourism agencies, residents and tourists. As a result of this, we have decided to close the visitor center effective Aug. 1. Closing the visitor center gives us the resources, such as time and money, that we need to become financially stable again and properly support and promote you and your business.
"We will continue to work with Susan Shoemaker to keep the information flowing and responding to your requests for information and assistance. Your membership benefits will not be affected."
Susan Shoemaker added:
"Although the Visitor Center doors are not open, the Chamber Board and I will still be providing membership services. We will respond to phone calls and emails, which includes making referrals to your business or service, and professionally maintain the Chamber website. I will continue to mail brochures and rack cards out as requested by visitors.
"I will continue to work for the Chamber Board and keep in close contact with you as a Business Member. Please feel free to contact me at naturally@
paoniachamber.com or 527-3886."