Jan 18, 2017
After years of false starts and stops, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will officially be opening its new offices and tourism visitor center Thursday, Jan. 19, in a public ribbon cutting.
"The reason we wanted to be out here is because this is where all the traffic and tourism is," said Chamber Director Tom Turnbull. Standing in his office, he pointed to the inns lining Park Road which could be seen out the window. "You can look out and see the inns. The great thing about Genesee is that it is in the middle of everything. We want to encourage those visitors to go deeper into the county."
Before this building was revitalized, the building used to be a physical therapy house. The building was identified for a potential new spot for the combined offices of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and the tourism visitor center — which used to be in a small hut in front of the Holland Land Office Museum on Main Street — back in April 2015.
"We've been working on this for 18 months but really it’s been 18 years," he joked, referring to the long search for a new building which has been going on since the late 1990s.
The two-level, 3,400 square foot space and the renovations which came with it were paid with funds from the Chamber of Commerce and county bed tax surplus. The County Chamber of Commerce will be located in the upper floor, which is slightly smaller than the chamber’s previous Main Street site, and the tourism office takes up the lower floor.
The Visitor Center will be staffed by community volunteers and tourism staff.
"We're going to be streaming content of events going on in the county," Turnbull said. "The vestibule is going to be open 24/7, so people can pick up pamphlets even if the tourism staff isn’t there."
The new chamber and tourism office is located at 8276 Park Road in Batavia, and the ribbon cutting will be on at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. An open house, which the public is welcome to attend, will be from 3-6 p.m.
For community members who are interested in greeting visitors and assisting them at the new center, volunteer forms are available at the new Park Road location or can be request by e-mailing Lauren Humphrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.