Cannon Beach Chamber honors key volunteers, businesses

Sally and Bill Steidel bask in the glow of appreciative friends at the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.

CANNON BEACH — The Cannon Beach Chamber and Visitors Center Annual Meeting and Awards ceremony Feb. 25 was an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of past year and renew connections before the hectic spring and summer season ahead.

Awards (see sidebar) singled out a few of the community’s many outstanding businesses and volunteers.

“They truly deserve the recognition and gratitude of all of us for a job really well done,” the chamber said. “We also want to thank our members who so kindly contributed entrées and beverages to our awards banquet. Comments were that it was the best ever!”

The chamber suggested members give themselves “a pat on the back” in light of the health and pulse of the tourism economy in Cannon Beach.

Some indicators of success:

• Transient lodging tax revenues were up a healthy 12.8 percent to a total of $3,690,791. “This amount reflects an economic impact of $354,883,750 of direct plus indirect spending using a conservative multiplier effect,” the chamber said. “This leaves us a lot of room to grow during the shoulder and value seasons we are hoping to influence.

• Tremendous growth in annual supporters: The chamber now has 17 annual supporters, up from nine in the spring of 2015.

• Cannon Beach received nine new published accolades in 2015 and so far in 2016, including being ranked the Most Romantic Destination in Oregon by the Oregonian’s Readers’ Choice Award, the #1 Most Beautiful Beach Town on the West Coast, and the #2 ranking for the Bucket List Place for Most Beautiful Beaches.

Cannon Beach was featured on the Today Show, in 1859 Magazine, by the Seattle Times Travel Section, Portrait Magazine, OPB Oregon Field Guide for Sandcastle Festival, the L.A. Times for Weekend Escapes, and Yahoo Travel for 10 Great Value Season Escapes.

Looking ahead, chamber leaders said “We are at a very critical juncture in our Marketing Committee’s planning for the rest of the fiscal year, and are making preparations to plan for the next year 2016-2017 in the next month or so. The chamber is working with the Oregon Coast Visitors Association, TravelPortland and TravelOregon.

Locally, the chamber is working with Clatsop Community College in the South County Center in a concerted effort to encourage a trained and educated workforce for the hospitality industry’s future in Clatsop County.

The chamber recently unveiled a new destination marketing campaign, to the tune of $72,000, that aims to bring more overnight visitors to the city between September and mid-June.

“We’ve assembled a great group of people over the last year, stronger than I’ve ever seen,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Court Carrier said. “I’m excited to work with them to make some progress on this new eventuality to bring Cannon Beach more business during the shoulder and the off-season.”

The marketing contract that the chamber signed with the city includes larger ads on more platforms, attracting business conferences and meetings, and hiring a marketing specialist.

• Member of the Year

The Wine Shack

• Volunteer of the Year

Sheri Russell

• Annual Supporter of the Year

Coaster Construction

• Excellence in Customer Service

Dogs Allowed

• Excellence in Leadership

Jason Schermerhorn

• Lifetime Achievement Award

Bill Steidel