Ely Chamber of Commerce holds membership drive

by Anne Swenson

A booming tourism economy thrives on the attention given to visitors and businesses through the Ely Chamber of Commerce. This week marks the annual membership drive as the Chamber readies for its new fiscal year starting July 1.<BR><BR>In this issue of the Ely Echo are listed the names of all the members who make up the many facets of the Chamber and information about what functions the Chamber performs in the community. <BR><BR>It helps to fund many services which benefit local residents year around, and it uses its marketing expertise to stretch its budget to bring notice of the northland’s beauty to people around the country.<BR><BR>The Ely Chamber of Commerce is currently an ‘Explore Minnesota Affiliate Travel Information Center’. The partnership was established to provide standardized information for on the road travelers and increase economic benefits to the state and its communities. The program is designed to feature travel information centers that provide statewide level of service to the general public. Geographic distribution and consumer volume were considered in the selection process. <BR><BR>The maintenance and staffing of a year round tourist information center, which is located on the corner of two state highways. The facility attracts national and international visitors who are seeking travel information. One-half of the out-of-state visitors are from the Midwest, while the remaining 43.6% are from a wide variety of US States and other countries.. <BR><BR>Ely area tourism has grown 2.5 times the national average since 1990. The tourism based economy includes 35 resorts, 26 wilderness canoe outfitters and 14 motel/B&Bs. <BR><BR>Tourism spending generates many other goods, services and jobs including construction, food processing, and medical services. All these add to the quality of life in Ely. <BR><BR>The Ely Chamber of Commerce Information Center is open year round and has six employees.