Letter: Chamber needs to do more for Dinosaur businesses

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To the editor:

Shortly after we decided to start our business, BedRock Depot, LLC in Dinosaur, we became members of the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

Early on, we could easily tell our decision was a good investment. However, over the past few years we have become increasingly aware of the fact that things have changed, and our Chamber membership is no longer a good investment.

When we first joined, the director, as well as the seniors who worked there, made us feel our membership really mattered. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case.

This Chamber seems too busy trying to be something it isn’t rather than being what a Chamber is supposed to be — a Chamber. The irony of all this is that we know BedRock Depot is the only business in Dinosaur that is a member of the Craig Chamber of Commerce, so it would seem appropriate to tell people heading west about us, like the little old ladies used to do, but that hasn’t appeared to be the case.

It’s unfortunate for all of Moffat County that the county commissioners and Craig City Council have chosen to allow this private entity to use taxpayer dollars without giving a full accounting of the use of those funds. One thing obvious to us, though, is that since the Chamber is funded through taxes and doesn’t seem to serve our business, it doesn’t need our membership dues.

We would hope that someday in the future the Chamber will have a desire, if not a policy, to help all member businesses grow. When that day comes, we are certain we will once again be interested in being a part of this organization. In the meantime, though, it is our hope that both those in leadership and people in the community would work together to create a truly business friendly arena to all businesses.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Leona Hemmerich

Bill Mitchem

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Comments

RebekahGreenwood 2 years, 9 months ago

I was shocked to see this letter. I’m sorry Leona and Bill that you feel that way about the Chamber. I would love for you to come in and talk to me about all that we do to market your business through the Chamber. I’ve been working at the Craig Chamber of Commerce/ Moffat County Visitor Center since 2005. I have personally recommended and heard others recommend Bedrock Depot throughout that time. That hasn’t changed. Even when the Chamber staff attended the grand opening of the new visitor center at Dinosaur National Monument, Chris made sure to point out your business and review with all our staff members the unique items the business had to offer, like the homemade ice cream, and gifts. Some of the staff had never been up Harpers Corner, so we didn’t have time to stop that day at your business and still make it home on time through Harpers Corner, but we wished we could.

Dinosaur National Monument is an important asset to our county and we at the visitor center send people there all the time. We encourage people to spend time on Moffat County’s side of the monument, thus keeping them longer in Dinosaur and Maybell. We are a non-profit organization here to serve our members and our community. I assume you are talking about funding from MCTA as taxpayer dollars. Those funds are used to operate the Moffat County Visitor Center not the Chamber. The Chamber contributes an equal amount to operate the visitor center, plus a lot of in-kind contributions. We do show accountability for those funds. I wouldn’t normally get involved in this kind of discussion, but it effects me personally that you would feel that way. I would like a chance to change your mind. Thank you for your consideration. Rebekah Greenwood Executive Assistant Craig Chamber of Commerce

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yampafriends 2 years, 9 months ago

It is most unfortunate to read this Letter to the Editor which even being on the outside of both groups, Moffat County Tourism Association and the Craig Chamber of Commerce I seem to have more knowledge than Ms. Hemmerich of how the Chamber is funded. From reading the past articles in the Craig Daily Press and the readers forums, it is obvious MCTA which Ms. Hemmerich sits on their board, has a problem with the Chamber which goes beyond what she submitted to the editor. From what I can gather, it is my understanding The Moffat County Visitors Center is what is funded by tax payer dollars, which consists of money from Moffat County, the City of Craig, MCTA and the Chamber who all provide the funding for the visitors center.

I am disappointed in the Craig Daily Press and how they allow these posts to be made, which appear to be slandering to people, without being monitored or it doesn't appear to be. I signed up for an account this morning and when I was reading the disclaimer, it seems to me many of the posts I have previously read violate their own disclaimer but yet they allow the posts to continue. Why do you feel that is?

From what I can piece together, MCTA opened an office in the mall which has turned into a visitors center. It seems I recall reading where the Moffat County Commissioners said they would not approve MCTA to open such a space and yet they did? Two problems I see here, why did MCTA go against a directive given to them by the commission which oversees their board and secondly why did the Commissioners allow it to happen when they said this was not the direction they wanted the tourism board to head.

Ms. Hemmerich talks about misuse of tax payer funds but when I did research on tourism boards and tax payer dollars, MCTA's purpose as I understand it is to be marketing Moffat County outside of Moffat County, how can they justify spending the money they already have and in the future to support this new "office space" in the mall. To me it violates what they as a tourism board are supposed to be utilizing their tax payers dollars for. Why is no questioning this?

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