Chamber helps local businesses, tourism during pandemic


PAGE – In order to move around the pandemic’s limitations on business and tourism, the chamber has started hosting Zoom video conferencing twice a week.

The Zoom meetings are hosted by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judy Franz and Page Economic Development Director Gregg Martinez.

“We didn’t want to see businesses die on the vine, and they were. People were struggling,” Franz said. “Mondays we do a business meeting, which is open to all businesses and interested individuals. [We] talk about the temperature of what’s going on in our state, what might be going on federally … [and] what the city can do to help. Gregg has been very proactive. [The city] has a big marketing plan they are working on.” 

The Monday meetings create a platform for people to share their current climate under the pandemic, which guides the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development in the direction of what businesses actually need, said Franz. 

“Tuesday is Tourism Tuesday. It really helps with the tourism as to what direction we are going. We all know international tourism is way down. It’s killing the town in some aspect,” Franz said.

The closure of Antelope Canyon has impacted so many facets of the tourism engine in Page, according to Franz, such as hotel, restaurant, and gas station revenue.

“The canyon being closed is really hurting some people. Those people have absolutely no acknowledgment from Navajo Parks and Recreation,” Franz said about the Antelope Canyon tour companies. “They are really struggling.”

“The whole point of Tourism Tuesday was to say, ‘OK, what are we going to do?’” she said.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told the Chronicle that he's aware of the city of Page's concerns and that he recently spoke with Mayor Bill Diak about the road closure from Cameron to the South Rim.

“In March 2020, the (24th Navajo Nation) Council approved legislation declaring all Navajo Nation roads to be closed to all visitors and tourists due to COVID-19,” Nez said. “We're continuing to meet with the public health experts on a daily basis to determine when it might be safe to consider reopening, but the roads remain closed to visitors until the public health emergency is lifted.”

Nez added that his administration is looking at ways to possibly reopen Navajo businesses, including Navajo Parks and Recreation, in stages when the time is right.

The Chamber also owns and runs Page’s official visitor center and is authorized by the Arizona Department of Tourism as a visitor center. The Page Lake Powell Hub is located at 34 South Lake Powell Blvd.

“I’m really pushing tourism [at the Hub]. People come in and say, ‘The canyon is closed … there’s nothing to do.’ We are trying to get that concept out of people’s minds,” Franz said. “There is plenty to do. There are land tours, air tours, hiking tours, and boat tours. The whole point is to get people to stay here. People get on these land tours and they just love it. People think the only thing going is Antelope Canyon, which is beautiful, but we have to survive in this town.”

The Chamber is currently finishing up a tourism directory that will be distributed to businesses throughout Page. The directory helps tourists find anything from where to get a car fixed to where to find healthcare. Contact Ed Pease at the Lake Powell Chronicle or Judy Franz at the Chamber of Commerce for advertisement opportunities.

Monday Zoom meetings are 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Tuesday’s are 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Tourism Meeting Tuesdays begins at 10 a.m.
Gregg Martinez’s Personal Meeting Room
Join Zoom meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6997212741
Meeting ID: 699 721 2741
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,6997212741# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,6997212741# US (Houston)

Business Meeting Mondays begins at 9 a.m.
Join Zoom meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6997212741
 
Meeting ID: 699 721 2741
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,6997212741# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,6997212741# US (Houston)

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