Volunteer workers Andy Saulpaul, left, and Cody McCarthy remove old carpeting from the Craig Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is in the midst of a remodeling project , which will be completed in time for the organization’s annual mixer at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Courtesy of Shannon Russell

Volunteer workers Andy Saulpaul, left, and Cody McCarthy remove old carpeting from the Craig Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is in the midst of a remodeling project , which will be completed in time for the organization’s annual mixer at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Craig Chamber event a celebration of upcoming anniversary

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If you go …

What: Craig Chamber of Commerce’s annual summer mixer

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way

— The event is free and open to anyone. RSVP to 824-5689 or office@craig-cham...

Plans are underway for the annual Craig Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Business After-Hours Mixer, but this year won’t be like others, Chamber employee Shannon Russell said.

“This year is a little bit special,” she said. “We remodeled — new carpet, new cabinets, new paint and some fun things like that.

“And, we’re celebrating our 65th anniversary this year.”

The mixer is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Chamber, 360 E. Victory Way. The organization’s official anniversary is Oct. 2.

The free event features food from Gino’s Neighborhood Pizzeria and Grill and door prizes. The mixer is open to anyone, but the Chamber asks attendees RSVP.

As of Tuesday morning, remodeling at the Chamber office remained in full swing.

Russell said work will be finished by Thursday.

“It will be done because it has to be done,” she said.

Chamber Director Christina Oxley said the annual event is an opportunity for area residents to see what the Chamber is about. Food and door prizes bring the crowds in.

“And then you can actually see what the Visitor’s Center has to offer,” she said of the brochures, first-hand advice and other information available to travelers. “Locals are the worst about saying there’s nothing to do here, but we can certainly fill their summer again and again and again.”

The annual event at the Chamber is just one mixer among many, she said. The Chamber teams up with area businesses to host mixers every three weeks in the business community.

Oxley said people shouldn’t be bashful about showing up to a mixer and getting free food. There are no strings attached.

“It’s a win-win,” she said. “What a business is trying to do when they host a mixer is they want you to come in and see their building and their merchandise. This is a way to get people to come in who might not come in regularly.

“Just showing up and eating food is doing exactly what the business wants you to do. They just want to make you aware of where they’re located and what they offer. And, it’s also a way to say, ‘Thank you,’ to their existing customers.”

Although mixers typically last two hours, attendees are not committed to stay the whole time, Oxley said.

“I’m trying to correct the impression that you have to be at a mixer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” she said. “People look at it and say, ‘Ugh, I don’t have two hours.’

“People can come at 5:45 and stay 10 minutes, 15 minutes or the entire two hours. It’s completely up to them. You can pop in at any time and leave at any time.”

Oxley said mixers are also an opportunity for people to branch out.

“From the participant standpoint, you’re getting food, you’re getting drink and door prizes, and that’s what draws you in,” she said. “But, it’s also your opportunity to network, particularly if you’re in business. It’s your opportunity to meet other people in a really casual setting.

“That’s what networking is about. It’s establishing a relationship that you use as a base to build business. And, it’s meeting people outside your normal course of business.”

Later this month, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 22, the Chamber will try a new type of mixer, Oxley said.

“We’re going to start kind of a ‘Thank God it’s Friday’-lunch-mixer concept,” she said.

A NuView Auto Glass, Gino’s and Hurricane Car Wash are sponsoring the event, which will be at A NuView, 1115 N. Yampa Ave.

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