Chamber dinner tonight

Event is designed to help boost interest and membership

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The Hayden Chamber of Commerce is bustling but struggling.

While it has been active -- working to create a business directory, naming new officers, and organizing a potluck dinner -- it is having a difficult time gaining new members.

"We've grown, but we can't grow any more without members," President Lana McFadden said. "In order for this chamber to fund, organize and volunteer at events, we must have members. The membership has slipped in the last few years, and if we want to have a positive effect on businesses in this community, we need to build up the membership again. We need to breathe new life in to the organization."

Just more than 10 percent of Hayden businesses are members of the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has about 25 members, while there are 231 businesses in Hayden, according to a count by town Trustee Lorraine Johnson.

To help recruit members and event volunteers, the chamber is holding a potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. today. Members and guests can talk and possibly network their businesses.

After the potluck dinner, the chamber will present a plan for the upcoming year and plan out a budget.

One of those plans is to create a Hayden business directory to be published and distributed to businesses in Hayden and Steamboat Springs, campgrounds and public places. Chamber members will be listed in the directory free for the first publication on the annual directory. Nonmembers are asked to pay $5 for their business to be entered.

Membership costs are divided into five categories. For civic groups and nonprofits the cost is $12; for nonbusiness related individuals, $24; for businesses with two to six employees, $48; seven to 13 employees $144; and 14 or more employees, $300.

The dinner will be the first official chamber event since new officers were elected two weeks ago. The new officers are graphic designer Lana McFadden as president, Hi-Way Bar and Plants and Things owner Fawna Odom as vice president, Mount Harris Laundromat owner and architect Pamm McFadden as secretary, and accountant and Hayden Building Supply owner Diane LeFever as treasurer.

The at-large members of the board are Hayden School District superintendent Scott Mader and Jacque Forquer of Jacque's Nail Studio.

For more information, call Lana McFadden at 276-4866.

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