Van Buren Chamber monthly meeting a sign of the future?

By | June 28, 2018 1:01 pm

By Tony Mitchell, contributor

The Van Buren Chamber of Commerce conducted its monthly meeting on June 21.

The 15 members present were able to hear an update from Ruth Dyal, of the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association. Dyal provided a synopsis of what the UTTA does and information about the annual magazine they publish.

Donna Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Bed & Breakfast, asked, “How do we do tourism in Tennessee? There is a map at the [Fall Creek Falls] ranger station with business ads along the perimeter, but when I called the publisher, they said that it has not been printed in a few years.”

Ruth Dyal responded by explaining, “The Tennessee Department of Tourism is represented by districts across the state. Many of these districts originally contained multiple small Chambers [of commerce] that were formed as a 501-C6 organization. The Upper Cumberland Tourism Association was formed to aid these smaller Chambers and businesses within the state.”

Dues for UCTA are $100 per year, and full-page advertisements for member businesses in the annual magazine are $1,750. The UCTA publication is distributed to all of the welcome centers across the state, and their website posts tourism videos for member businesses.

Clayton Miles, owner of the new “Pipers Mexican Cantina,” provided an update.

“It’s 8,000 square feet – 5,000 is for Mexican and another 1,500 square feet of – pizza, donuts – whatever,” said Miles.

Dyal congratulated Miles, saying, “There’s nothing between Spencer and Dunlap.”

Pipers employs 18 people to help in the restaurant and with pizza delivery.

In other business, Melodie Hodges introduced a new Chamber of Commerce website called www.vbchamber.net. The improved, updated site will be used to complete the main function of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce, which is to promote the business community of Van Buren County.

If anyone would like to become a member of the Chamber, the next meeting is 5 p.m., July 19, 2018, at the Chamber of Commerce building, 66 Sparta St., in Spencer.

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