Safety is the primary reason cited for the decision to move the office of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce

by: RAMONA MCCALLISTER/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center has moved to 785 NW Third Street.

When visitors come into Prineville from the west side of town, a new Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce building will be visible.
   The Chamber staff was busily moving their office on Friday to the new location on West Third Street, across the street from Evergreen Home Loans and next to Echo Photography. They were working through the weekend to get the office set up, and on Monday a temporary sign was visible, welcoming visitors to the new location.
   Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Ed Yoder commented late last week that the staff had to move to another building for health and safety reasons. Interim Director Joe Becker said that the move was a board decision. He added that approximately one month ago, they had some heavy rains and resulting water damage.
   “We had some water damage in the building, and we ended up having some work that had to be done,” added Becker. “It is not conducive for us being there as the work is being done.”
   He added that the opportunity for the new building became available, which is a more prominent and visible location for the community. Becker commented that the board thought it would better serve Prineville as visitors come into the community.
   “One of the calls we get quite often at the Chamber is people wondering where we are at, because they have trouble locating us in town,” he explained.
   Becker added that it is also a more functional location to better serve the Chamber members. He noted that the new building has approximately the same square footage, but also has a basement. They are hoping this will serve their needs for storage and other space for future meetings. The Chamber currently has one storage unit and they are planning on eliminating this extra expense by utilizing the basement storage area.
   Yoder said that the rent and utilities for the new building will be overall approximately $150 to $200 more per month than the old location, which the Chamber rented for $785 per month.
   The Third Street building also has a dedicated parking lot that Becker said they will be leasing as well. There will be space for visitors with RVs and larger vehicles. The prior location shared a parking lot with two other businesses, and parking was often difficult and inconvenient.
   Monday was business as usual, and visitors can expect uninterrupted service as the staff gets settled in their new location.
   The Crook County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will announce the new Chamber Director within the next two weeks.
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