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Chamber offices will move down the street

    SCHUYLER COUNTY—The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce will be moving to a new location at the former Seneca Lake General Store, 214 North Franklin St., this May by establishing a tourism center.
    Rebekah LaMoreaux, chamber president, explained they signed a long-term lease with store owner Jim Guild to move, while the Seneca Lake General Store moves to the Verizon Wireless store which has closed. The general store held a liquidation sale during the last two months of 2011 to get ready for the move. LaMoreaux added the long-term lease coincides with the Schuyler County Legislature considering to designate the chamber as the official promotions agency for the next 15 years.
    LaMoreaux said the move to 214 North Franklin St. will triple the space available to the chamber; the store is 5,100 square feet. She explained the chamber wants to “offer services we can’t currently” like more displays, kiosks, 360 degree virtual tours of properties, and public restrooms. One option might be to host local artists and wine tastings. She explained plans on how to renovate the property are still being finalized.
    “We want our visitors’ center to reflect our beautiful community and meet the needs of our guests,” said LaMoreaux.
    LaMoreaux said the chamber will look to sell the current location at 100 North Main St. once the offices have moved. The chamber has been looking to move to a new location for a while now; LaMoreaux said at least seven years. She explained in October of 2011, the chamber approved a strategic plan that included finding a place for the tourist center. A task force was created to take inventory of available Franklin Street properties.
    Even though the chamber will move to a larger location, LaMoreaux said there are no immediate plans to increase staff. She said the chamber relies on a strong base of 20,000 volunteers a year. She said, “if there is an increase, it will be in the form of volunteers.”


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