Is the Chamber of Commerce on their own Blue Bandwagon?

By: Alex Hambrick Email
By: Alex Hambrick Email

The Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce promotes the campaign, "Jump on the Blue Bandwagon," which encourages residents to shop local. One couple said they aren't convinced the Chamber practices what they preach. The couple booked a trip through the Chamber and assumed they would be patronizing local businesses. When they found out that wasn't the case they wanted answers.

"The biggest issue is, our local chamber is taking the place of a local travel company, our local companies could be making money on these trips, because our local chamber makes money on these trips," said unhappy traveler Deb Stover.

Jim and Deb Stover have gone on four trips abroad with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce.

"We thought that going with the chamber you kind of get a warm and fuzzy feeling, everything will work out great, and our first trip to Ireland was a great trip but our trip to Greece, not so great," said Jim Stover.

President and CEO of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Diane Schwenke said they went to a local agency first.

"At that time our travel agencies here locally said we can't match this in terms of travel itineraries and cost," said Schwenke.

Stover said now she is planning a similar trip to Spain as the Chamber using a local agent.

"I know that's not true because there are 15-20 of us doing a trip to Spain in the fall, its going to be just as cheap if not cheaper, from Grand Junction with a local travel company," said Stover.

In an email from Schewenke to the Stovers, she said the trips were a temporary source of revenue, in an attempt to weather the recession.

Schwenke wrote in the email, "the Chamber does not receive much revenue from the trips and may discontinue them in the future."


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