Monday, August 1, 2011

August Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce Newsletter

What a busy month of July we had. Congratulations to Elise & Payne Junker of Gallery 103, along with Michael Alon of DaVallia Art & Accents, and the bridge re-opening party committee. It was a great turnout and fun party!! Governor Shumlin, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Sue Minter, Chris Williams DOT, Tourism Commissioner Megan Smith, Jim Hall and team from Cold River Bridges, Representative Leigh Dakin, Town of Chester Manager David Pisha, and selectboard chairman, John DeBenedetti, all participated in the ribbon cutting(s).

Lew Watters presented a signed Chester print; Leah Cunningham along with parents Cynthia Prairie and Shawn Cunningham presented Chester flags and Leah read a letter from the USDA (who provided ChesterUnited with the grant). Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce President Bill Dakin said a few words and gratitude was shared by all!

Thanks to the kids for helping with the games, Ryan, Leah, and Erika.

Thanks to the Green Mountain Banquet and Conference Center at the American Legion complex, for all your hard work, venue, and all the things you do for the community!

Thanks to Lisai's, The Fullerton Inn, Heritage Deli, the American Legion, and everyone who brought a dish to share.

Many, many pictures were taken from all the newspapers as well as our own photographer, Donald Dill - check out his pictures on our facebook page!

I hope I didn't leave anyone out. We are blessed to live, work and play in such a great Okemo Valley community!!!

We're also happy that the Chester Info Booth has re-opened on July 21st before the first Chester Music Series. Big thanks to the following businesses who donated time, money, expertise to help get this done under budget and on time.

Thanks to the Ludlow Merchants for putting on a great firework show!

We have been hosting free continental breakfasts in each town, to share with the community what the Chamber is doing, and what resources we might be able to bring to each community that we serve.

Please join us at 8am. Feel free to invite a guest.

August 15 - Java Baba - Ludlow

September 15 - Wilder House Restaurant at President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth

October 24 - Bryant House - Weston

Call to action:

August 10 - 3rd Annual Okemo Valley Business Expo at Green Mountain Banquet & Conference Center in Chester from 5:30-7:30pm. The expo will highlight dining, shopping, services, health and wellness and green technologies. Come "Shop the Valley" under one roof. Thank you Adam Rosenberg for providing the music. This week is the last week to sign up for a table!!! Call the Chamber 228-5830!

Chamber Golf Tournament is Thursday, September 15 at Okemo Valley Golf Club. Please call Mary Knight of Knight Tubs to help on the committee, sponsor a hole, donate a prize and/or to sign up your foursome. 228-2260. All are welcomed.

for this special event: Wednesday, September 21st 5:30-7:30pm at Bella Luna-
2012 Women of Okemo Valley Calendar reveal party! You don't want to miss this! Purchase your calendar at the door ($20). All proceeds benefit the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer and the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce. Meet the women who participated in the calendar and you will be able to get them to autograph their page. We will also be auctioning off select items used in each shoot!!! This event is for adults only!

ATTN China Travelers: We will need your $200 deposit, passport and $155 for your China visa by the end of August to hold your seat. The balance of $2,000 is due in early December. Click here China for details on the trip.

Would you like to help our Chamber grow? Consider running for the 2012 Board of Directors. Please email Marji if you're interested and we'll put you on the ballot! We meet the first Tuesday of every month from 2:30-4pm.

Chamber Mixers
Join us for our monthly Chamber Mixers on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Bring a door prize if you can.

All Mixers are from 5:30-7:30pm

August 10- 3rd Annual Okemo Valley Business Expo at Green Mountain Banquet and Conference Center - Chester
Music by Adam Rosenberg. This is event is free for the public.

September 14- The Village Green Gallery - Weston

September 21 - 2012 Women of Okemo Valley calendar reveal party - Bella Luna Ristorante- Ludlow

October 12- Berkshire Bank - Ludlow

November 9- Jackson Gore Inn - Ludlow

December 14- Annual Meeting at Stone Hearth Inn & Tavern - Chester
Membership Committee News

The membership committee met on July 22. Please contact Laura Williams if you want to join our committee.

The Chamber is currently looking to hire a part-time membership assistant for 2 days/week.

Thanks Leanne for a great testimonial: Do you have a testimonial to share? We'd love to hear how we're doing!

"I have a new business in Ludlow and joined the Chamber about 3 months ago. I've already earned the equivalent of my dues in work from the contacts that I've made at the mixers. Okemo Valley Chamber membership is a great business investment."

Leanne Jewett
WorkSmart, Administrative Assistance
"When one of you is not enough"
(802) 228-2201

We reviewed new member applications, member benefits and ways to increase membership. We brought up raising the Chamber dues next year since they haven't been raised in over 4 years, but the Board decided not to given the economy. So, we will continue to give you a lot of value for your $20/month investment. (1-2 employees).

Top 12 Reasons for joining our Chamber include:

* Group discounts-Staples, LaValleys, HB Fuels, newspaper
* Health and dental insurance
* Co-Op Marketing Opportunities
* Trade Shows and Fairs
* Professional Email Marketing program
* Free Listing on our website:
* Free Listing on our mobile app
* Free Listing in our twice a year Regional Guidebook
* Referrals
* Marketing and promoting your events
* Monthly mixers
* Free Educational programs
Don't forget to sign up for these member benefits and to use your M2M card to save money. (Using the card will support local business and save you money - which will cover your membership dues).

1. LaValley Building Supply invites Chamber members to become an Okemo Valley/LaValley Retail Member. Show your M2M card and fill out a LaValley/Middleton member form. Currently this program is to provide a standard 5% discount, however, if you also sign up for the e-member program, you will receive additional savings and the latest specials on products and services. Yard items are not included in this program. Call Ron Godfrey for details 228-4665 or stop in today!!

2. Staples invites Chamber members to join our group discount. We have a master account offering a core list of product savings. Every member will have the opportunity to customize their products for their specific business needs. To sign up for this 25% savings program, you must call AnnMarie Conklin at 877-482-8027 or email

3. HB Fuels - Call Tom so he can explain the program to you. 885-2300.

Be sure to check all Member Benefits on our website. Let's all do business with each other at a discount. Keep it local and support one another.

Free coupon offer on
Call 228-7664 Spring River Marketing to get set up. One time $20 set up fee. We can add your coupon to our app as well as website.

Welcome New Members

The Chamber welcomes the following new members:

Pure Payments - Chittenden

Weston Village Store - Weston

Weston Village Christmas Shop - Weston

Heartland Payment Systems - Putney

Glorias Pantry - Cuttingsville

CZ Environmental Remediation - Ludlow

Hawks Mountain Consulting - Chester

Fletcher Memorial Library - Ludlow

Marketing Committee News

The marketing committee met briefly on July 26th at the Chamber office and will be meeting again on August 2 at 3pm at the Cool Moose Cafe. Our web host, Got2Web will be reviewing our website stats with us. Feel free to join us.

We reviewed the results of our May advertising campaigns, (CT Magazine, Yankee Magazine, VT Vacation Guide, Travelhost Magazine and Southern VT Arts & Living); google ad campaign (for July events) and mobile app stats. We used our QR code in all ads in May and saw increased downloads for the 4 month period:
Apple platform 3/1 was 68 and 7/6 was 252
Droid platform 3/1 was 71 and 7/6 was 154
139 406
Today is the last day to sign up for our mobile app at the introductory price of $100/year. After 8/1 it's $249/year.

Our app winner this month is Patti Roberts from Jacksonville, TX. She wrote "coming to Vermont next month and downloaded app for on the go info. Looking forward to my trip and leaving behind the 100+ degree days of Texas behind for a couple of weeks." Sent from her i-phone.

NEW: Check out our Outdoor Adventure Packages on our website. Be sure to give Danielle your specials and also submit them for free on

Our Fall marketing includes co-op ads in our usual:
Travelhost of Vermont
Southern VT Arts & Living
Vermont Vacation Guides (inside front and inside back covers)

NEW...Sept/Oct issue in Cape Air Magazine.

NEW...brand ad in Vermont Life - Winter Edition

NEW...Dec/January 2012 issue of USA Travel Guide

Last week to sign up for a table at our Expo on 8/10. (1 1/2 weeks away)

We're still looking for Golf Hole Sponsors, prizes and teams. Contact Mary Knight 228-2260

We also have 2 spots left to market your business at the Big E in Springfield MA. September 23 from 3p-9p.

We will be participating in the New York Times Travel Show March 2-4, 2012 and the Boston Globe Travel Show on February 10-12, 2012 with Stowe again next year. Let me know if you're interested in attending either show.

ChamberMail - This is a direct mail piece that is mailed out monthly to new homeowners in both Rutland and Windsor counties. Last years participants received 2000 names and addresses for their own follow up. This program is especially for our Service Companies.
Pricing begins at $199 for the entire year and will begin mid-September 2011 through September 2012 or to 2,000 new homeowners (whichever comes first). DEADLINE 8/9.

Upcoming Events:

Please submit your events to us 2 weeks in advance.
If you don't see your event in the calendar, please call us.
News from our Members

Congratulations to Pat Budnick for raising $4158.00 from her annual Music in the Meadow fundraiser for cancer research!
Sales from our "2012 Women of Okemo Valley" calendar will be contributing to this event next year to make that number grow!

WeddingWire Acquires Project Wedding - one of the top 5 online wedding sites in the industry.

Congratulations to Coleman Brook Tavern
who is one of four Vermont Restaurants to receive Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence 2011!

The Richards Group Acquires the Davis Insurange Agency in Ludlow.

If you have news, please email: Subject: newsletter
so we can share with our members!
Chester Rotary News:

David Armstrong, the Pastor of Chester's Congregational Church has also served as the President of the Chester Rotary Club since July of 2010. David passed the gavel to the new President, Dan Cote, owner of Inn Victoria. From Left; Dan Cote Incoming President, David Armstrong outgoing President, and David Hoops Regional Assistant Governor.

In the past year the Chester Rotary has been involved with numerous projects designed to support the community as well as scholarship awards for Green Mountain Union High School students. Over $50,000 has been raised for these projects in 2011. Scholarship awards in 2011 have included five individual $1000 scholarships and one scholarship valued at $1000 /year for four years under the Andy Ladd Scholarship Fund.

The Chester Rotary meets together at 7AM each Thursday at the Fullerton Inn. Anyone is welcome to attend.A wonderful breakfast is provided for the price of $9.00 per person. Meetings start at 7AM and end at 8AM sharp.

Contact: Dan Cote, President of the Chester Rotary Club 802-875-4288

Ludlow Rotary News:

Ludlow Rotary Club Welcomes 2011-12 Club President Mary Crowley

The Ludlow Rotary Club is pleased to announce the changing of the gavel held on June 28, 2011. Pictured above is outgoing President Jill Tofferi (left) passing the gavel to Mary Crowley (right). Tofferi has been a member of the Ludlow Rotary Club since 1992. Crowley joined the Ludlow Rotary Club in 1998.

The Ludlow Rotary Club meets Tuesday's at 12:00 noon at DJ's. The club consists of 35 members and is active in local and international projects. The Ludlow Rotary Club was chartered in 1927 is celebrating their 84th year. Visit for more info for the Ludlow Rotary Club. Please contact club president, Mary Crowley at 802-484-9793 for more information regarding the club and membership.

About Our Organization

Our Chamber provides the following member benefits:
*Health Insurance provided by Cigna,
*Dental Insurance provided by Delta Dental,
*Free listing on our website with web link,
*Free listing in our regional guidebook,
*Free listing on our mobile app,
*Free placement of your business brochures in our welcome centers in Ludlow and Chester,
*Free monthly chamber mixers,
*Free educational programs,
*Member to member discounts,
*Co-op advertising opportunities
*Marketing and Promotion
*Events publicized,
*And much, much more!!!

Our Vision Statement:
The Okemo Valley region, consisting of the Towns of Andover, Cavendish, Chester, Ludlow, Mount Holly, Plymouth and Weston, is recognized as a four-season sustainable Vermont destination to be enjoyed by all.

The Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is recognized as an organization providing leadership, support and services vital to the health and future growth of the member businesses in the communities that we serve.

Chamber members are ambassadors for the Okemo Valley region, promoting the area as a vibrant place to live and to visit.

Our Mission Statement:
The Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit, member-driven organization. It is the voice of its members and the business communities in the Towns of Andover, Cavendish, Chester, Ludlow, Mount Holly, Plymouth and Weston, Vermont. It provides advocacy, support and unified regional marketing to promote and enhance our regional businesses and four-season economy.

We are not affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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