The Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce offices will soon be on the move to a new location. After over two decades of operating the campground, mini-golf and tourist information centre, the organization has elected to pull up stakes and head down Highway 5 to the former Land Titles offices in the Courthouse.
“It is with mixed emotions that we will soon find ourselves in a new base of operations,” said Tammy Ward, the president of the Chamber of Commerce. “Running the campground and tourist information booth has been an integral part of our Chamber of Commerce for more than two decades. However, the move to a new office space, that will act as a base of operations for decades to come, is very exciting.”
“The move to our new offices allows the Chamber of Commerce to be based in a totally independent space with no perception of bias or favouritism. It is very exciting for this board to serve our business community at a time that will mark the beginning of a new chapter for our Chamber of Commerce,” said Ward.
Elaborating on the move was Chamber Director Brent Fitzpatrick.
“In 2021, the mayor attended one of our meetings and informed us that the City was moving into a more transparent model of tendering processes for all aspects of City business. After 22 years of running the campground, we would be asked to tender to do this job in the future. The Board decided at this point, this was not something they were willing to undertake any longer. “
Fitzpatrick says it's an attractive opportunity for other businesses or organizations to entertain, given that the prospect for generating revenue is there and the campground and mini-golf are well utilized. At the same time, he sees the new location as ideal to house the Chamber’s future operations.
“There’s a great symmetry between the age of the courthouse building and the age of the Chamber of Commerce, well over a hundred years for both of them. The space is wonderful; the offices overlook the park around the courthouse. It’s built at the core of the city and it’s a wonderful space we’re looking into getting into.”
Since the City was made aware of the impending move some time ago, it’s been working on a process to determine a process for securing a business or group interested in running the campground and mini-golf, explains City Manager Joe Day. There will be a request for proposal (RFP) issued to which agencies can respond and express interest.
“We also know that we may have to bring recommendations to Council that there may have to be some interim solutions for 2023 while we establish the long term plans for the campground.”
Day says any businesses or groups who want to put their names in to operate the campground and associated services can prepare to submit a proposal as to how they would offer the required services. However, he says the City is still working on the request for proposal. Interested parties can request the RFP document ahead of time to ensure one is delivered.
Day also believes there are individuals or non-profits who could benefit by running the campground and mini-golf in terms of generating revenue. The property would still be held by the City, so future operators would have a duty to report and provide a level of service standard in the agreement, which is still under development.
Day relays an appreciation for the time and effort put into the operation of the campground over its tenure.
The Chamber continues to look forward to building a strong relationship with its area members and looks forward to new directions.
“A great example of this will be the Business Incubator that we began to look at earlier this year that will assist businesses of all sizes throughout the region for years to come,” Fitzpatrick says. “The operation of the campground took all the resources of the Chamber of Commerce for a period of 5 months. That time will be now re-allocated for other projects and efforts aimed at supporting and growing our business community.”
The move is intended to be complete by October 31, 2022.