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Chamber to host annual informational open house Thursday

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce invites all to the annual open house from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at the Chamber Visitor Center on Highway 71 South.

Business owners may enter a drawing for one of three free one-year $720 banner ads on or a free booth at Legends & Logging Days.

In addition to a chance to win a door prize, open house guests will have an opportunity to visit with the Chamber board and staff; enjoy complimentary appetizers and beverages; review the 2012 budget, marketing plan and Chamber plan of work, and network with other Chamber members. The open house also is a good time to bring new brochures for the Visitor Center display area.

If you're not a Chamber member yet, now is a great time to join. "An investment in the Chamber is like buying stock in the community," said Chamber executive director Katie Magozzi. "Your dollars go to work to make the Park Rapids Lakes Area a better place to live, work, play and do business."

The Chamber provides members with unique business development programs, resources, effective marketing and visibility, networking opportunities and business advocacy at all levels.

Throughout 2011, the Chamber focused on building and sustaining partnerships, staying ahead of changing technology and anticipating changes in the economy to benefit our retail, service and lodging member businesses.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce has created partnerships with government agencies, neighboring communities and other nonprofits and community organizations. The goal of these efforts is to help position Park Rapids as a regional trade center and tourism/visitor destination.

The Chamber organizes and promotes successful community events in partnership with other organizations and harnessing community volunteers in the effort.

Some of these are the 4th of July Parade, Legends & Logging Days, the Light Up a Life Tree Lighting Ceremony in partnership with St. Joseph's Hospice, Jingle Bells Sweepstakes and Gala Celebration and a fun Chamber fundraiser.

This summer, the Chamber also will be hosting the MS Tram bike ride and Bicycling Around Minnesota on overnight stays in Park Rapids.

"The Chamber's in-house accomplishments include publishing a Discovery Guide that surpasses the quality and content of similar promotional guides from much larger communities," Magozzi said.

The Chamber continues to upgrade its website to one that is comprehensive yet user friendly. The Chamber also uses e-mail "blasts" to deliver timely notices to its members and e-mails all members a weekly listing of community events, including member activities (such as open houses or special promotions) called the Every Friday News. "Our cutting edge tourism marketing is key to bringing vistors to our area.

"Community members and organizations frequently turn to the Chamber for problem solving, insight and information and with the understanding the Chamber is willing to rise to a challenge and offer its services," Magozzi said. "We welcome you to join us in creating the exciting year ahead."

To learn more about "your return on investing in the Chamber," go to or - better yet - stop by during the open house.