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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Keep the Chamber at Tourist Information Center

As some of us have heard, the city is planning to end the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce’s residency in the beautiful building (Tourist Information Center) by Paul and Babe, on the shores of Lake Bemidji, this very fall. In the chamber’s place, the city is planning to install the Parks and Recreation Department.

It is well-known the chamber’s presence is a wonderful tool for our tourists who visit Paul and Babe….and that is 99 percent of them. While there, most venture to the chamber’s space, where they visit displays and see more items from Paul  Bunyan’s lore, talk to the staff, get directions, receive suggestions on where to eat, play and stay…gather handouts and booklets and maps and just get a personal feel for Bemidji and the surrounding area. If the chamber is no longer there, these tourists will not have immediate and direct access to all of this wonderful information and advice, and will be forced to travel to a different location in order to get what they currently are provided within steps of Paul and Babe. It makes no sense to not make everything easier, instead of more difficult, for our tourists, as we all know they are the bread and butter of our community.

Please ask the city to reconsider and keep the Chamber of Commerce right where they are as Parks and Recreation can be relocated elsewhere, if their present space is not working. Contact the mayor, City Council members, the city manager…any and all of them…before time runs out.

Keeping our wonderful and most helpful chamber at the lakeshore, near Paul and Babe, where they can serve the tourists quickly and professionally, is an economical, responsible and sensible decision that should not be reversed.

Natalie Grosfield