Kremmling Chamber wears many hats as it enters 2017
Shelly McManus, the Executive Director of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce (KACOC), and her Executive Assistant, Shyla Bohall, are some of the first contacts that visitors to the area make.
The Kremmling Area Chamber has the dual role of being the Chamber and the Visitor’s Center. The Visitor Center is just as the name suggests – being available for visitors while they are in Kremmling – trail information, restrooms, referrals to businesses, and a smiling face.
The role of the Visitor’s Center may complement the role of the Chamber, but few understand that the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce’s first priority is supporting business and the economy in Kremmling.
This forces the Chamber to wear many diverse hats – from event planning, marketing, article writing, networking, supporting the local businesses and driving overnight stays in Kremmling.
The Chamber hosts many events including the Christmas Tree Lighting, Ice Fishing Tournament, the Easter Egg Hunt, and Cinco de Mayo. These events serve a variety of purposes from creating town traditions and camaraderie to helping boost the economy. McManus estimated the annual Ice Fishing Tournament boosted Kremmling’s economy with over $50,000 brought into small businesses, and studies have shown that if you can keep that money circulating in the economy than everyone benefits in a small community.
.McManus says, “Although planning, organizing, and hosting the events are the most time consuming and difficult part of my job, they are also the most rewarding when they are successful.” The Chamber is always in need of volunteers for events.
McManus also spends many days marketing and promoting Kremmling to potential travelers. Although people may not see the finished product, there are many ads and articles promoting Kremmling through print, radio, digital, and social media throughout the year.
McManus also works closely with the Grand County Tourism Board to promote all of Grand County and to help carve a niche for Kremmling in a competitive market. The tagline, “Untapped and Untamed,” promises to capture those looking for an adventure off the beaten path. McManus even travels to trade shows to promote all Kremmling has to offer such as the recent Travel and Adventure Show in Denver. She has also worked the Snowmobile Expo in Denver and the Hill Climb in Jackson Hole, WY in the past.
In addition to promoting Kremmling as a destination, the Chamber also promotes businesses to locals and provides networking opportunities.
With nearly 100, memberships, the Chamber is able to refer customers to businesses and help share Facebook specials. It also offers networking opportunities at the Chamber mixers. “Our goal is to keep business in Kremmling, so it’s important to stay informed of what existing businesses and new businesses have to offer to locals and visitors.” said McManus.
With diverse backgrounds such as real estate, artisans, hospitality, finance, and ranching, the eight member KACOC board is helping to provide vitality and valuable connections in Kremmling.
The president, Dawna Heller, brings a unique perspective of the role of the Chamber. She is a Kremmling native and owns several local businesses. Her primary goal is to help connect the community with the Chamber to promote economic growth of the Kremmling area. She also wants to help facilitate business networks and business relationships.
Amber Lemon, who serves as Treasurer of the board, also grew-up in Kremmling alongside her sister, Dawna Heller, and has been in the real estate business for 11 years. She comments, “I would like to help the Chamber to promote Kremmling in a positive light, bringing more business and growth to the area.”
Secretary, Kelsey Hargadine, has non-profit experience as co-founder of ROWAN and Antlers for Orphans. Her global experience combined with her experiences as a small business owner gives a fresh perspective to the Chamber. “Although I am not a native, I can look at the town with fresh eyes for the future of Kremmling. I hope I can contribute in a small way towards new business ventures as well as expansion and growth of current businesses.”
One of the newest members, Han Smith, the owner of Rusty Spurr Ranch, understands the possibility of keeping Kremmling’s heritage intact while promoting business. “I hope that my 13 years experience growing an agri-tourism business in this area can be helpful and provide insight into how we might help our community continue to realize its potential for growth and prosperity. I would like to see us also promote our largely untapped resources such as our tremendous access to outdoor public recreation areas as well as something that draws people to our business: a connection to the Old West and its values.”
Smith feels that this connection sets us apart from surrounding communities and can be instrumental in increasing our appeal to passers-by so that we may create many new, lasting opportunities for our local businesses.
Dave Skinner, also a new member, has been instrumental in establishing the Gore Range Artisan Gallery in Kremmling and has continued to serve as a county leader for the artisan community. Although he hopes to provide the Chamber with some fresh ideas to promote the business community, he also isn’t afraid of rolling up his sleeves saying, “I applied for membership to the Chamber Board to add another pair of hands, set of experiences, some hours of volunteerism, and maybe a few new ideas to help the Chamber.”
Jody Preston, of the Bank of the West, has an uncanny knack for remembering everyone’s name. She has a variety of skills and competencies based on her experiences in several fields including, banking, payroll, and sales audit analysis and auto insurance claim handling. She comments enthusiastically, “Kremmling ROCKS! I’ve been a Kremmling resident for over six years and never plan on leaving! That being said, even though I’m a dedicated resident, I am not a Native. But as a non-Native, and someone who moved here by choice, I have an abundance of enthusiasm and a vested interest in seeing Kremmling grow into the kind of town and community that attracts not only permanent residents and new businesses, but also visitors of all ages who want to take advantage of all the Kremmling area has to offer.”
Grace Bohall, brings her financial expertise as a Certified Public Accountant with DAPCPA Pope, Bohall and Young. “Bringing financial expertise to the chamber board allows me to help with compliance issues as well as planning,” she comments. “In addition, I also help represent the chamber members of the professional community.” Bohall also serves on the Kremmling Town Board and Rotary.
Vick Caylor brings a seasoned perspective to the Board as he is currently the longest standing board member with seven years of experience. He also has been the manager of the Allington Inn and Suites for seven years, and is able to represent and give feedback regarding the lodging industry in the Kremmling area. Vick comments, “The board we have now is very enthusiastic and pro-active in nature. There is an influx of different strengths on the board which has been positive for the Chamber. We also have a Chamber director that is creative and dedicated. She has been with the Chamber for two years and the consistency she provides has enabled us to grow.”
NEW VISION AND MISSION STATEMENTS
At their recent annual planning meeting the Board began working on a new Vision and Mission Statement to share with the Kremmling community. The new Vision Statement for the Chamber is to “support and empower local business growth,” and the closely aligned Mission Statement defines the purpose of the Chamber to, “Support our business community through collaboration and networking while providing resources to increase revenue generating opportunities of recurring prosperity.”
With 2017 in full swing, The Chamber and its Board are enthusiastically looking forward to a banner year where they can continue to promote the businesses and support the community.
The Chamber will be hosting their Annual Chamber Banquet on April 29th at the Dance Hall at the fairgrounds. “This year’s theme is a Shrimp Boil and Rib dinner. We’ve moved the banquet to spring in hopes of attracting more people that want to usher in the warm weather and share some food, drinks, laughter, and fun! The Chamber banquet is open to the entire community, not just Chamber Members. The more the merrier,” exclaims McManus.