Organization now separate from Chamber of Commerce

 Courtesy photo: Visit Brookings staff

BROOKINGS – The organization formerly known as the Brookings Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) under the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce has become a stand-alone 501(c)6 organization.

The new organization is called Visit Brookings, and its leaders say they will focus on promoting and growing the $100 million tourism industry in Brookings. 

“This is something we have been working toward for several years,” said Visit Brookings Board Chair Randy Soma, who describes the move as a friendly separation from the Chamber. “We have been operating as a separate entity with our own board of directors and budget since 2012. Last year both organizations hired new directors, and we felt it was the perfect opportunity to finalize the change.” 

Laura Schoen Carbonneau has been with Visit Brookings for a few days shy of a year and is excited about the new organization. 

“Visit Brookings is about highlighting the importance of the tourism industry in Brookings and getting people to think about it as an important piece of our local economy,” Schoen Carbonneau said. “We’ll still work closely with the Chamber, but our missions are very different.”  

Visit Brookings is the primary sales and marketing arm of the city as it relates to tourism and the visitor industry. The mission of Visit Brookings is to work with strategic partners to market Brookings, develop tourism and strengthen events to provide economic impact to the community. Among other activities, Visit Brookings facilitates a grant program which provides financial assistance for meetings and events, creates marketing strategies to reach potential travelers, and provides visitor information and itineraries.  

Earlier this month, Visit Brookings and the Brookings Chamber jointly announced they will continue to office together in a new location at 1321 Sixth St.

“The new office will allow us to interact with visitors in a new way. We are designing the space to be a visitor center as well as professional office space for our two entities.” Schoen Carbonneau said. The anticipated move-in date is Sept. 1. 

The Visit Brookings staff consists of Executive Director Laura Schoen Carbonneau, Operations and Sales Manager Bridgit Burghardt and Marketing Coordinator Emily Braun. Together they have more than 30 years of experience in the tourism industry. The Visit Brookings board of directors is made up of 14 individuals representing tourism related businesses in the community.

By: Visit Brookings

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