Chamber to keep Visitors Center contact through August

BAKER CITY – The Visitors Center in Baker County will remain with the Chamber of Commerce through August 31, 2021.  Baker County Commissioners voted on this decision this week.

Baker County Chairman Bill Harvey says between now and the end of August officials will be working to evaluate and address issues that have come up in the past and make a plan for moving forward past August.  This will include communication between the county and the city.  

Shelly Cutler, Executive Director for the Baker County Chamber of Commerce had this to say about this decision.

“We are super excited and looking forward to spring and summer and the events that are coming. 

We understand that this is just a part of the process. And so, we look forward to being able to once again apply for the Visitor Services contract, but in the meantime, we’re getting really busy already. 

We’re starting to see more and more folks just popping off the interstate. We have also received a lot of people calling and making their summer plans.  We have been sending out lots of visitors packets to those folks. 

It is exciting and we’re super excited that we get to continue planning things like Miner’s Jubilee, our vendors are so excited. I have probably received over two dozen applications, and then I have some carryover from the 2020 vendors that wanted to just roll their applications into 2021. 

We’re trying to kind of think of other things that we can add to the event to bolster it a little bit. I haven’t heard yet about Baker Bronc and Bull, but we are hopeful because their event makes our event better, so hopefully they’ll be able to do that.”

When asked what happens now, as things move closure to August as far as the contract Cutler had this to say.

“It sounds like the county is putting together a panel to discuss the whole transient lodging tax system in the county and with a tighter collaboration with the city.  So, depending on what that panel determines, they’ll put together a request for proposals (RFP). And then once that has been released, we will put a proposal together for it. 

I don’t have a target for sure on when that will be completed. But I do know that they’ve asked for input from the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association. I’m really excited about that, to put some fresh eyes, I guess, on our county and what tourism looks like across the state and different models that are successful. 

So, I’m super excited to see what that next RFP looks like and will absolutely be applying for it once they release it.”