SHERIDAN — A crowd of community business leaders and administrators turned out Wednesday afternoon to support the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce and celebrate its new location.
The Chamber hosted an open house to show off its new office space in what used to be the home to Sheridan College on Main Street. The offices associated with the college, including the Center for a Vital Community and the Workforce Training and Development for the Northern Wyoming Community College District, have moved back to the main campus.
When the Chamber of Commerce relocated from the Information Center near the intersection of Fifth Street and Interstate 90 to its new location, it left vacant space that was immediately filled by the staff of Sheridan Travel and Tourism. The two agencies had previously been housed in the same building.
Chamber CEO Dixie Johnson said though the two agencies have parted ways, their relationship remains strong.
“We couldn’t be happier to partner with them,” she said, adding that the new location may pose some strategic advantages for the chamber’s mission.
“What we are thrilled about now is that we are going to be more accessible being in the heart of the community,” Johnson said. “We continue to connect people with businesses and businesses with resources.”
ST&T Director Shawn Buckley said that when he assumed his current job a few years ago, he was happy to have the Chamber of Commerce imminently available to help him settle. Now, he’s excited about the new possibilities of the visitor center.
“Now, the focus on the Visitor’s Center is different,” he said, indicating the crowd that comes by is solely focused on getting regional information and tourism.
ST&T has added another full-time employee to its staff as of this week and is in the interim phases of redesigning the museum.
Buckley said he’s had a few meetings with representatives from the State of Wyoming’s Visitor Center Network and the Wyoming Department of Transportation, who own the building, and learned he has a lot of leeway in terms of modifying the exhibit displays for travelers.
“The long and short was we discovered we have quite a bit of control to get creative with displays and visuals as long as no commercial exchange is taking place,” Buckley said.
“Now, we’re picking apart different aspects of how the main office might look and function. We’re also looking at the museum as well and talking with our partners about our displays. We’re getting thoughts on how to modernize the aesthetics there while maintaining our partnerships,” he said.
Johnson added both entities have agreed the new situation will be a great fit for the community.