From transportation to tourism, Chamber kept busy
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | November 05,2012
Starting with a move downtown, the past year was a busy one for the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber relocated its offices to the corner of West Street and Merchants Row — a far more visible location than its former spot on North Main Street.
At its annual meeting last month, Chamber President Marleen Cenate said the new downtown location is more accessible to members and the public, especially tourists. The new headquarters has a community conference room that’s open to the public as well as Wi-Fi access.
Cenate also listed some of the Chamber’s accomplishments during the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Transportation has long been at the top of the Chamber’s agenda and this year was no different. Cenate singled out the long-awaited installation of the instrument landing system at Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport.
She told guests at the Holiday Inn that the $1 million project “increases safety and further improvements in reliability.”
In conjunction with a new lighting system that guides approaching aircraft, the instrument approach system lowers the minimum landing requirements in less than favorable weather conditions.
Cenate also said the Chamber assisted in marketing the Crossroads of Vermont Byway — a scenic byway that runs from West Rutland to Hartford.
When it comes to tourism, the Chamber was actively involved in promoting the week-long Model T Ford Club International tour that came to Rutland this summer.
Next year, the Chamber has more events on tap.
Cenate said in 2013 the Horseless Carriage Club of America convention will be coming to Rutland with its pre-1917 cars.
For motorcycle enthusiasts, she said the Red Knights International Motorcycle Club convention will be held here as well.
But Cenate wasn’t finished.
Rally North America will hold its New England Rally 2013 in Rutland.
“It came down to Rutland and Burlington as to where they were (coming),” she said.
Cenate said the difference was the proximity of Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, giving Rutland the edge over Burlington, which doesn’t have a race track nearby.
Not to be forgotten, she said was this year’s Killington Classic motorcycle touring rally.
There were other events as well including the Chamber’s golf tournament at Green Mountain National in Killington which attracted 27 teams.
Among other 2011-2012 highlights:
The Chamber handled 10,000 phones calls and sent out more than 200 requests for visitor guides, brochures and relocation packets; and produced 12 monthly electronic newsletters that reached 31,356 people.