HJ322: Commending the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce on its 20th anniversary.

Offered February 15, 2006
Commending the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.
Patrons-- Dudley and Byron; Senator: Hawkins

WHEREAS, the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 20th successful and exemplary year of operation in 2006; and

WHEREAS, the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce (SMLCC) is an organization of Smith Mountain Lake businesses and professionals created to promote tourism, business, and community growth; to develop and promote programs designed to encourage economic, social, cultural, and recreational interests of lake area residents; and to advocate policies that promote the interests of its members; and

WHEREAS, housed at its original location at #2 Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, the SMLCC has transformed from a partnership representing a handful of businesses to a state-recognized Visitor Center and area Chamber of Commerce with 665 members; and

WHEREAS, in 1986, recognizing the need for a lake-area business association, community leaders formed the Smith Mountain Lake Partnership; at that time, the hydroelectric power project known as Smith Mountain Lake had only been in existence for 20 years; and

WHEREAS, encompassing 500 miles of shoreline over 22,000 acres, the lake region fell within three counties—Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania—and each of the counties had established its own Chamber of Commerce; and

WHEREAS, a group of business owners determined it would be beneficial to form a separate organization in order to unite the businesses in the lake area and provide one voice for the members, and soon thereafter, a Chamber of Commerce formed at Smith Mountain Lake; and

WHEREAS, the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce/Partnership was modified in 2005 when the board of directors voted to simplify the name to the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce; and

WHEREAS, in its two decades of existence, the SMLCC has served the business community by providing educational opportunities for businesses, networking, and communications, as well as serving as a vehicle for economic growth in the off-season months through a series of events promoting tourism, the area’s key industry; and

WHEREAS, the SMLCC is proud of its numerous accomplishments as it celebrates its 20th year in 2006, including a SML Visitor Center open seven days a week, greeting 23,000 visitors annually, fulfilling more than 50,000 information requests a year, providing the area with exposure through advertising and SML Chamber articles in major publications, and maintaining a comprehensive website representing the entire membership and including area and regional information; and

WHEREAS, 2006 marks the 17th annual publication of the Smith Mountain Lake Newcomer and Visitor Guide, which is distributed annually with more than 18,000 copies mailed directly by the chamber to potential visitors; and

WHEREAS, the SMLCC hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival in September, four annual national fishing tournaments in late fall and early spring, the annual SML Business Expo in April, the annual SML Fall Chili Festival, and two area golf tournaments; and

WHEREAS, the 2006 Four Seasons of Smith Mountain Lake Photo Contest will be the fourth edition of this exciting project, which provides SMLCC with an extensive library of photos during all seasons to promote the region; and

WHEREAS, for 19 years, SMLCC has partnered with the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the Tri-County Lake Association in organizing Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, a cooperative lake clean-up effort; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly commend and congratulate the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce on the occasion of its 20th anniversary; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce as an expression of the General Assembly’s gratitude for its outstanding service to the citizens of Smith Mountain Lake and the counties of Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania and best wishes for a joyful anniversary celebration.