Emergency Denmark visitor service seeks volunteers following council nod

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Denmark Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sumer Addy.
Camera IconDenmark Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sumer Addy. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The Denmark Chamber of Commerce is on the lookout for volunteers to bolster its emergency visitor service after it was given the green light by Denmark councillors last week.

The DCC is set to reopen the Denmark Visitor Centre temporarily from December 26, ahead of what chamber chief executive Sumer Addy said was expected to be the “busiest tourist season we have ever seen”.

The Denmark Visitor Centre has been vacant since the end of July after the departure of Amazing South Coast Tourism.

At a special council meeting last Tuesday, Denmark councillors voted unanimously to lease the visitor centre to the DCC from December 7-April 30 to operate the pop-up emergency service.

The Shire will provide a cash contribution of $40,000 and waive the building’s rates for the next financial year.

Councillors also voted to rescind part of a resolution from their October ordinary meeting to provide a lease opportunity to Denmark Tourism Incorporated as well as $50,000 in funding to run the centre.

In an officer’s report put to the council ahead of last week’s meeting, Shire chief executive David Schober recommended that councillors back the DCC’s proposal.

“The adaptable nature of the proposal, along with strong community sentiment, could serve to address community expectations with respect to the reopening of the Denmark Visitor Centre,” he said.

Now approved, the DCC is calling for volunteers to pitch in for two-hour shifts to help keep the visitor centre open between 10am and 2pm from Wednesday-Sunday until April 30.

Volunteer training sessions will take place on December 9 and 12.

“We are looking for people who are passionate about visitor centres and having them open, and that value face-to-face contact and welcoming the visitors into town,” Ms Addy said.

“The more people we get in, the more we could potentially expand the time that the centre is open.

“They can volunteer as often or as little as they want.

“If we don’t have volunteers then we are in trouble.”

The DCC seeks two volunteers for every shift, with 10 needed each week, and floor space at the visitor centre will be opened up for businesses to use as a market place.

Ms Addy said the DCC was in the process of securing council approval for a Monday market from 5pm-8.30pm.

“I am hoping that the Monday night market, if all goes well, will start in January,” she said. “We will be looking at offering food and a little bit of entertainment.”

An hour-long market stall information session will run at 5pm on December 16.

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