The Chamber at Page Lake Powell will see a near 67 percent increase to its yearly allowance from the city, moving from $15,000 per year to $25,000.
Council approved the chamber’s request for the increase last week after chamber Director Judy Franz laid out a proposal outlining the extra work the group has been doing for the city in the last couple years.
Perhaps the most discussed was the chamber’s embracement of coordinating familiarization or “fam” tours. Page Community Development Director Kimberly Johnson, who works closely with Franz, said the chamber has been providing these tours to high profile journalists, travel writers and various celebrities.
Because of the chamber’s connection with the business community, Johnson said, they have been able to provide many of the guests with excellent experiences with both local businesses and within the Page area as a whole. The city has been providing the funding assistance to the chamber for many years now, but $25,000 is likely the highest on record.
The chamber is also still at the forefront of organizing many of the city’s annual events, which include cornerstones like the Balloon Regatta vendor fair and Fourth of July parade and events.
Councilman Mike Bryan said he has been pleased with the direction the chamber has been moving in, noting Franz “has done great things with [it].”
He was praiseful of how many community-centered events the organization is involved in or outright organizes.
Councilman Dennis “Dugan” Warner on the other hand, while saying he felt the number was “fair” and voted in favor of the increase, told Franz he felt the chamber needs to find ways to become financially more self-sufficient with some of its larger events.
Franz responded, saying the extra $10,000 was “essentially for the community... and the Page business district.”
Many citizens are adamant about the creation of new events and activities directed at locals, she said. The new weekly Farmers Market, which has been organized by the chamber and a group of growers, has been an example of such, Franz concluded.
Meanwhile, the John Wesley Powell Museum also received a renewal for its annual allowance of $70,000. After being designated the city’s official visitor center several years ago, the museum provides a central location for tourists to receive basic info about the city, its outlying opportunities and book tours at one of the area’s many tour companies.
Museum Director Billie Wright told council the money primarily goes to funding a fleet of part time staffers at the museum who almost exclusively help with wide-eyed visitors looking for things like a map or advice on how to plan their day in Page.
With the increase in tourism, and after the museum made the decision to lengthen its hours of operation, the visitor center’s traffic has in tandem increased, Wright told council.