Chamber, factory stores strike a deal to keep info center open |

Chamber, factory stores strike a deal to keep info center open

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Information specialist Billy Crocket has been greeting tourists and pointing them in different directions for 6 years as a part-time volunteer. The Summit County Chamber of Commerce and the Silverthorne Factory Stores have agreed to keep the information center open on Factory Store property.

SILVERTHORNE – The Summit County Chamber of Commerce has struck a deal with the Silverthorne Factory Stores to keep the information center on its property open.Chamber board president Loren Stone said the Factory Stores will assume operational management of the information center effective in January, with financial help from the chamber.Stone said the plan for Silverthorne is to make it a regional information center for Western Colorado. Durango and Grand Junction business leaders want to be part of it, he said.

“This would really take the information center to the next level,” Stone said. “We are pretty excited about it.”He said the regional concept fits with Silverthorne being the “gateway” along Interstate 70 to Western Colorado. The idea also works with the Silverthorne Economic Advisory Council’s plan to market the town as the gateway to the west.”This is nothing but positive, taking it regional in the big picture,” Stone said. “We want to make it something we all can be proud of.”

Chamber assistance to the Silverthorne center will come from still-being negotiated chamber funding and anticipated support from local governments.The deal comes as the town of Frisco, the Frisco Chamber and Copper Mountain are teaming up to maintain their own information center on Frisco’s Main Street.Both arrangements mean Summit County will continue to have two information centers in Silverthorne and Frisco as has been a longtime arrangement.

The Summit Chamber and the nonprofit Summit County Visitor Information Centers board had been the guiding force behind the two centers, but weak financing caused a retrenchment earlier this year, with the Frisco center on Summit Boulevard closing.The chamber has continued to operate the Silverthorne center.Chamber executive director Constance Jones said in November the Silverthorne location serviced 3,246 walk-ins and 284 calls to its 800 number.Historically the numbers at the Silverthorne center have been more than three times what they were at the Frisco center on Summit Boulevard, she said.

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