Editorial: Think about merging CVB and Chamber

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 21, 2002

Ideally, the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau would be committed to furthering the interests of Albert Lea as a whole &045; not just businesses and hotel owners, but individual citizens as well. Now is a time when there’s an opportunity to move closer to that ideal, with administrator positions for both organizations vacant.

How about merging the two organizations and uniting them behind one director? They already work closely on many projects. They share an office. Why not make it official and join their forces together?

The Chamber’s traditional role is as an organization to further business interests. The CVB has been dedicated to attracting tourism to the area, funded by a local hotel tax. Helping business and putting people in hotel rooms are worthy goals &045; ones that go hand-in-hand, and whose benefits can help many. A strong calendar of events helps business, and a strong business community helps make this a more viable tourist destination. It makes sense for the two bodies to work together whenever possible.

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A merged Chamber and CVB would be able to do that in a more efficient way. And such an organization would be wise to focus on activities that improve quality of life overall for our residents. That will, in the end, help accomplish the goals of the separate organizations.

It’s no secret that the Chamber and CVB have seen better days. Both organizations are in need of a jump start. Perhaps reorganizing and reevaluating their goals would provide just the spark that is needed.