Print Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center stays put
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 01:00

The Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce and the visitor center will stay where it is as the Town Council and chamber board of directors work out their issues this month.

Camp Verde Town Council voted Sept. 1 to extend the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center lease at the South Main Street location.The town has suggested in recent years that it wants to take back the building that the chamber and visitor center uses.

The chamber, which has split the visitor center into a separate entity for funding among other reasons, has been pulling in record numbers of visitors.

The building, which the visitor center calls home, has been given to the chamber on the cheap for at least a year.

The Town Council has disputed the chamber’s occupancy of one of its nicest buildings for quite some time. The town owns the building and has rented it to the chamber for $1 a year. Still, the town’s leadership has kept its eye on the building, since the current town offices consist of town staff working out of an aging high school.

Still, the visitor center has been breaking visitation records, and Chamber Executive Director Tracie Schimikowsky has pointed out that if the center had to move, it would be difficult to find a location that’s not only visible, but that meets the standards the Arizona State Tourism Board requires.

Camp Verde Mayor Bob Burnside reaffirmed that the town needs a visitor center and the services it provides last week during a meeting between the Town Council and the chamber’s executive board.

Councilwoman Jackie Baker said she was glad to have the opportunity to talk directly to the chamber’s board.

Baker said she’s had her differences of opinion with the chamber in the past, but felt very positive after last week’s meeting. Baker added that Town Manager Russ Martin would be working with the chamber to figure out exactly what they were doing. Baker also said that while she hadn’t supported funding the chamber in the past when the town used to pledge more than $100,000, she was willing to see what results they could produce in the present.

The current lease on the building used by the chamber expires in December 2011. The council directed staff to work out an agreement. Martin said he would come back with more information in April.