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August 23, 2019

abigail bostwick/lakeland times

The new St. Germain Chamber of Commerce building officially opened just weeks before the Fourth of July holiday.
abigail bostwick/lakeland times

The new St. Germain Chamber of Commerce building officially opened just weeks before the Fourth of July holiday.
7/9/2019 7:30:00 AM
St. Germain Chamber of Commerce welcomes summer season in new building
Abigail Bostwick
Of The Lakeland Times

Just in time for the height of the 2019 summer season, the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce has opened the doors of its new building on the corner of State Highways 70 and 155.

Penny Strom, the chamber's executive director, noted the building officially opened just a few weeks prior to the Fourth of July.

"We're very happy to be in this new building," Strom said of her new office. "It's a great focal point when you come into our town."

The former 60-year-old aging structure was demolished for the upgraded facility, which broke ground last July and today features three main offices, a board meeting room, a 24-hour center for visitors, a full basement, garage and storage. At 1,800 square feet, it is double the size of its predecessor.

"It's a great meeting space," Strom said. "People come in, and they are just in awe. It's a great entrance to St. Germain, and this shows the progress of the town."

Additionally, there is a patio which will be used for community events and in the future, picnic tables for trail users and people passing by or recreating in the area.

The St. Germain Chamber has one full-time and two-part time employees, with a full board of directors and 185 primary members, plus more than 100 sub-members, making for around 300 total members, Strom said.

"The members have been great," Strom said, explaining no taxpayer dollars went into the new building, but rather it was entirely funded by membership.

"The chamber is so much more than just a tourist destination," Strom said of the many resources the chamber offers, now on an all-day basis and already being actively utilized. "People like that they can get all the information they need when they can."

A grand opening is in the works for later this summer to celebrate with contractors, members, the board and the community.

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