All signs indicate that a renewed sense of excitement and enthusiasm has recently been generated within the Platte Canyon Area Chamber of Commerce in Bailey.
“Chamber meetings have changed drastically over the last year,” said PCACC Vice President Mark Linne. “It used to be that only a few people attended our meetings, and now you can’t find a parking spot unless you get there early. And these days, if I’m not able to attend a meeting for any reason, I feel like I’ve really missed something.”
According to PCACC President Robb Green, membership numbers have risen consistently over the last year.
“We have had about thirty new members join in the last year, about seventeen in 2023 and several more over the last month or so,” Green said. “We are up now to more than one hundred fifty members, so that’s a positive trend.”
Regularly scheduled meetings of the chamber offer a who’s who of sorts in terms of guest speakers and regular attendees. Updates and special announcements are presented at each meeting by the Park County Sheriff, Tom McGraw, Platte Canyon School District Superintendent Mike Schmidt, county commissioners and fire protection district personnel.
Having community and business leaders in attendance at chamber meetings makes for more informative events while also providing ideal networking opportunities for all parties involved.
PCACC meetings include discussions designed to educate and inform business leaders regarding important topics such as transportation, broadband, recruiting and retaining employees, insurance requirements and trends, security issues, and much more.
There is a unique two-way dialogue taking place at chamber meetings, as business owners each have the opportunity to introduce themselves and to address all in attendance regarding any pressing topics, questions or concerns they might have. This process provides increased visibility for individual businesses and business owners alike, and also promotes the sharing of valuable information that is beneficial to the business community as a whole.
The PCACC also hosts candidate forums, forums regarding specific ballot initiatives, and town hall-style conversations pertaining to a broad swath of business-related topics.
A new attitude
During his tenure as president of the chamber, Green has partnered with others to create a more inclusive and service-oriented chamber for Platte Canyon area businesses and business owners.
The PCACC mission statement states that its objectives are to “advocate, educate and promote the businesses and people of the Platte Canyon area.” And under Green’s leadership, the chamber is consistently hitting those marks.
“We have twenty-seven retail businesses in Bailey, and they obviously represent an important portion of our membership,” Green said. “But we have also made an effort to include home-based businesses. Individuals can also become members by signing up through specific businesses, and everyone is welcome to attend our meetings.”
Green estimates that there are at least another 150 home-based businesses in the Platte Canyon area that are not yet members of their local chamber.
A new attitude also seems to have developed in business-to-business relationships within the Platte Canyon area, and that spirit of collaboration has been remarkably beneficial. The most obvious example of that occurred last year during a one-day event dubbed “Bailey Bounty.”
“We really wanted to put together a program where the chamber acts as a marketing arm for the entire business community . . . that’s our job,” Green said.
All 27 retail stores in the Platte Canyon area participated in the chamber-sponsored Bailey Bounty event. Shoppers’ names were collected and each became eligible to receive a computer-generated sweepstakes prize by visiting at least two retailers that day.
Throughout the day, countless businesses referred customers to other retailers and urged customers/consumers to stay a while and shop locally. Some retailers even served as shoppers, visiting and making purchases at neighboring stores.
The results of that event exceeded all expectations. There were 637 shoppers who participated in Bailey Bounty, and 73 percent of the shoppers visited at least two stores. The end result was a resoundingly successful and profitable day.
“It is very gratifying to see the growth of the chamber and Bailey-area businesses,” Green said. “We are an evolving organization and hope to keep the momentum going.”
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