The Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce is optimistic about a local economic rebound this year. (File photo)

The Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce is optimistic about a local economic rebound this year. (File photo)

Kicking Horse County Chamber of Commerce looking forward to future growth

They will continue to work closely with Tourism Golden despite losing a voting seat on their board

The Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to the local economy growing in the coming months, after a few years of transition.

Chamber executive director Marloes van Lent points to continuing the chamber’s four priorities– advocacy, sustainability, networking and education – while bringing back more in-person events which have been absent in recent years.

She says that Business Banter and Beers networking events have been very well attended, something she’s thrilled to see.

“I couldn’t be happier about that,” van Lent said.

Right now, she says the chamber is working on growing and building a team, while growing the board and continuing to focus on those four pillar priorities.

Recently, the chamber lost its voting seat on the Tourism Golden board, after a special resolution passed at its annual general meeting on Wednesday, May 11.

Board president Toby Barrett explained the proposal came as the chamber has stepped back in its role with Tourism Golden in recent years.

“Historically the Chamber of Commerce has sat on the tourism board with a voting seat, but we’ve seen a little less engagement from the chamber in recent years, though they are still very valuable member,” said Barrett.

“There’s been a lot of discussion with the board over the last year about the increase in interest from other stakeholders to be involved in the direction of Tourism Golden.”

However, van Lent says this was a process that had kicked off about two years ago, when Tourism Golden initially stepped back from the chamber board.

At the Tourism Golden AGM, it was stated the chamber is still welcome to attend all tourism board meetings and continue to participate, with van Lent noting the chamber plans to continue to work closely with the Tourism Golden.

Already they’ve collaborated on a new event, called Connect Golden, to promote community interaction with the tourism industry.

She says it will benefit all businesses to have one organization representing the tourism side of Golden, while the chamber can dedicate itself to non-tourism related businesses.

“We’ve been working with them on different levels on different projects,” explained van Lent.

“Golden is a tourism town, you can’t get around that, that’s just a fact, but as the chamber, we are here for the people not related to tourism.”

She says the chamber will not exclude tourism-relate businesses, but adding it’s healthy to have an organization focused on other aspects of business in Golden.

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