Eagle Nest Chamber to run visitor center

By Gabriel Weinstein<br />Staff writer

By Gabriel Weinstein<br />Staff writer

EAGLE NEST— The Eagle Nest Chamber of Commerce was awarded the contract to run a village visitor center in its new building Tuesday (June 17) after the Enchanted Circle Gateway Museum withdrew its bid.

Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Hattfield said the chamber is excited to run the village’s official visitor center.

 “I think that’s just phenomenal,” she said. “That is what we’ve always tried to be in the past. We’re glad that we can continue to be so.”

The Chamber of Commerce is not charging the village to run the visitor center. It is using income from  other sources to operate the facility.

The visitor center will eventually be housed in the chamber’s new building that is being built at 284 E. Therma Street. The 400-square foot facility will have office space, restrooms and five parking spaces near the building as well as street parking on both sides of the building.

The Chamber’s new building will be on property owned by Clovis business owners Fox and Donna Guinn. The Guinns are building overnight cabin rentals on the same site as the Chamber’s new building and are giving the Chamber a four-year, $400 a month lease on the building. Fox Guinn said he will begin construction on the Chamber’s building as soon as the state grants him a building permit. He hopes to start construction in July and finish the building in September.

Gateway Museum Board Member Jack Schweitzer said the museum decided to withdraw its bid because of financial reasons. The Gateway Museum was asking the village for $7,963 in lodgers tax funds to operate a visitors center.  It first proposed the idea of becoming the village’s official visitor center in April.

“From a fiscal standpoint it would be difficult to argue the use of tax funds for something that somebody was offering to do for nothing,” Schweitzer said. “It seemed to me that was the intelligent and correct thing to do.”

The Gateway Museum will continue to provide all of the services it has offered in the past and looks forward to working with the Chamber, Schweitzer said.

Until the Chamber’s new building is completed it is being housed in the Eagle Nest Senior Center. The Chamber has a summer intern working at the facility 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday- Saturday. If a holiday falls on a Sunday or Monday the Chamber will be open that day as well.