St. George Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates new building

ST. GEORGE – Applause and cheers erupted once the ribbon was cut for the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce’s new business center and home office on 100 East, just across the street from the historic Pioneer Courthouse, the chamber’s long time home.

“Today is our grand opening of our business center,” said Pam Palermo, president and CEO of the St. George Area Chamber. “After 30 years of the old courthouse building, we’ve moved over here to the old water conservancy building.”

See video of the grand opening in the media player top of this report.

Grand opening of St. George Area Chamber of Commerce’s new Business Center and home. The new location gives the chamber an updated facility and much needed space versus the old Pioneer Courthouse where the chamber has been located for over 30 years, St. George, Utah, Feb. 17, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The old courthouse has served the chamber well as a home over the last three decades, yet has been somewhat of a cramped arrangement. The first floor of the courthouse primarily consisted of a wide hallway and office space, yet lacked room for anything more.

That won’t be an issue with the new facility that was once the home of the Washington County Water Conservancy District and then the Washington County Drug Task Force for a time.

Thursday’s event celebrated the new building as well as the chamber’s sponsors who supported the renovations that made the new facility possible. The overall renovation work is estimated to have run around $300,000, with $125,000 of that having been raised through sponsors and the remainder gained through fundraiser events.

“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” Palermo said as she referred to how much more room the facility has over the courthouse location. “We can conduct business a lot easier here.”

Part of the new facility includes a board room on the main floor that can seat up to 20 people and a training room downstairs that can hold up to 85 people. Palermo said chamber members can lease those areas as needed.

Inside the “Training Room” at the new St. George Area Chamber of Commerce Business Center on 100 East. Able to seat up to 85 people, it provides space for the chamber that wasn’t available at the historic Pioneer Court House, the chamber’s former home for over 30 years, St. George, Utah, Feb 17, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“This has been a great project,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said. “I wasn’t so sure it was possible. They raised a lot of money with their sponsorships and so forth to get this done and the results are incredible. I’m very happy for them.”

The City of St. George owns both the Pioneer Courthouse and the building the chamber has renovated and moved into. The city has leased the building to the chamber for 10 years, with rent being offset by the money spent on the renovations, Pike said.

The St. George Area Chamber of Commerce has 785 members and serves businesses not only in St. George but the surrounding area. It also serves as a place that businesses outside of the community can have a presence they may not otherwise have in the area. It also provides political advocacy for the business community.

“The mission is, every business shall be heard and succeed,” Palermo said.

Palermo became the president and CEO of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce last November following the resignation of Gregg McArthur who served in the position for six years.

“I’m so excited,” she said. I’ve just been having a blast.”

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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