By Justin Aufdermauer
I haven’t taken a moment to talk about how much we love our new Headquarters in awhile – Probably because we’ve been here a year now and “new” might not be the right word anymore. I will say that our building has served us and the community well, and individuals and groups of people are continually taking advantage of the casual meeting spaces, hot coffee and plethora of information available to them. We are also serving visitors to our area who are greeted by a warm and welcoming space where they can learn more about the area and discover new things to do, places to eat, and adventures to try. Being downtown has helped draw people into the Visitor Center who might not otherwise have stopped by.
But… If there’s one thing I don’t love about our new building it would be the front façade. Fortunately, we’re getting a facelift! We were just awarded a TLT Facilities Grant from Tillamook County to redo the front façade and bring back some of the historical context of the building. Once the new sidewalks in front of our block are completed (and of course weather permitting), we will remove the awning that has some structural issues and Dave Clooten Masonry will be doing a brick overlay to replace the worn, outdated tile and stucco currently on the front. The vision is that removing the awning will help brighten up the space and better showcase the Visitors Center from the highway, and the brick will bring back that historical downtown look, while helping to match the outside with the industrial farmhouse look we’ve created on the inside.
Now here’s where things really get interesting: our neighbors to the north, the Dutch Mill, also received a grant to redo their front façade. And, we are working with Kitty’s Food and Spirits to get them a similar grant and what that might look like. Then to the south of us, Torra Sushi Lounge is opening soon and have plans in the future update the outside of their building. Ours will be the first revamp that visitors and residents will see, spurring this callous of change across the entire block. I believe these new sidewalks and updated buildings are going to completely change people’s experiences as they drive – or walk – through town.
We are very thankful to the Tourism Advisory Committee that reviewed and selected our application for recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, and of course to the Commissioners for approving the Chamber for this grant. It will go a long way in helping us welcome visitors and provide quality information to everyone who walks through our front door.
The front faced is not the last piece we need to do on the Chamber space, but we’re getting close. Eventually we will redo the rear entrance façade, and we are also planning to add more office space and a private conference room to the upstairs.
Stop in and see us!