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February 3, 1995     Cape Gazette
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February 3, 1995

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50 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, February 3 - February 9, 1995 Resort chamber puts forth goals, budget, member survey results By Trish Vernon "A united business community will be ready for the year 2000," 1995 Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce President Susan Ceff fold fellow members at the Feb. I monthly luncheon meeting in her State of the Chamber address. She reminded everyone that the future will arrive, despite the fact that some people would like Re- hoboth "to be like it was ten or twenty years ago. Those people who say we are not affected by what is happening outside our boundaries will be left behind. One lesson should be clear - everything affects us." What happens on Route One, in Dover, Ocean City and Washing- ton, D.C. all have an effect on the Rehoboth-Dewey business com- munity. "As your chamber, it is our job to make sure we are ready for the year 2000 - keeping up with new technologies, new business trends and new ideas that other states might have for tourism. We are your business advocates," she said, "and as a resort town, one of the best ways to help ensure that health is to promote the growth of our tourism industry, specifically in our area." In 1995 the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber plans to direct its focus on the state legislature, educating them to the fact that spending money on tourism will bring a tenfold return. "Tourism benefits our entire community. It creates jobs and generates income for lo- cal and state government with 5.5 million people visiting the state each year spending $806 million." It is also the chamber's objec- tive to clear up some myths re- garding tourists. "Some of you have said 'we don't want bus peo- ple' but one 40-passenger bus spends $5,300 per day, and we have enabled hotels to book their facilities during the shoulder sea- son with bus groups," Cerf said, calling for an agreement with the state-run park and ride to set up a system that would keep them from parking on the avenue. As for "day trippers,,' Cerf not- ed that it's a popular misconcep- tion that they don't spend any money in the resort, as they gener- ate $53 per person a day. Also, as many of them are families, their children grow up and return to va- cation. In 1995; the chamber will con- tinue its aggressive marketing and concentrate efforts on positive so- lutions and directions. "We will not be sidetracked by anyone in being your voice, your advocate, your information and your mar- keting tool. A united business community will be more than ready for the year 2000," Cerf said. Executive Director Carol Ever- hart took to the podium to give the financial report, noting the cham- ber had $157,000 cash on hand as of Dec. 31, 1994, as well as re- serves for such building, emer- gency and Vacationland brochure sales, totaling $138,000. Projected revenues and expen- ditures for 1995 total $312,885, Everhart said, noting the chamber board asked for changes in tally- ing up what the chamber collects line by line and what is outstand- ing in accounts receivable. She noted that those revenues come equally from three sources, the Vacationland brochure ads; the Sussex County Convention and Tourism Commission (SCC&TC); and from members dues and other services provided. The funds are broken down into three accounts. The projected ex- penses for the "100" or operating account, used to run the chamber office, newsletter, etc., is $104,685, while the programs of work or "200" account expenses should come in at $80,200, while the SCC&TC or "300" account expenses are projected at $128,000. (Since the chamber on- ly receives $100,000 toward that goal, Everhart noted that they will need to get the additional $28,000 from somewhere else.) The "200" account pays for ef- forts made to increase tourism on a local basis, such as the job fair, newsletter, Sea Witch Festival, map and visitors guide, Easter and Christmas projects, etc. The "300" account funds go solely to attracting and tracking tourism from outside the area. It was then Chamber First Vice President Kay Wheafley's turn to convey the results of the recent survey of chamber members on directions in which they would like to see the organization move. "We are doing an excellent job with marketing and member ser- vices," she noted, "but the survey says we need to be more political- ly involved as business advo- cates." However, many voiced the opinion that "development on Route One, for instance, is in- evitable and there is no need to try and stop it. But they expect us to play a major role in planning and vision because the people influ- encing the development may not have an idea of how it can effect residents and tourism," Wheatley said. Main Street received a strong nod of encouragement, but most members felt that the chamber should only play a role. "By February we expect to have the chamber long range plan fin- ished and then move forward with committees to implement these goals," she added. Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber honors volunteers The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce honored its Chamber Champions on Monday, Jan. 30, all of whom received pins of recognition. Among those on hand for the presentation are (1. to r.) John Brown, a city employee who has been instrumental in putting up Christmas lights and performing numerous tasks for the chamber;, Christine Hastings, who helped coordinate the hospitality seminars; Diane Kramer, Sea Witch Festival volunteer who coordinated the craft area; Carol Everhart, chamber executive director, who presents a cer. tificate for outstanding achievement to outgoing chamber beard member John Kleitz, who al- so helped with the group tour committee; Bob McCulloch, who helped with loading and un- loading trucks for events; JoAnn Bradley, who volunteered with the Sea Witch Festival and Kids Convention; and Delores Gue, chairman of Business After Hours and Santa's House. Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce First Vice President Kay Wheatley gives a report at the Wednes: day, Feb. 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