The Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is back home in downtown Latrobe.
The Chamber celebrated the recent relocation with a grand opening earlier this month at its new office and visitors center in the Rogers Building at 811 Ligonier St.
The move back to the downtown area comes after about five years occupying a 1,300-square-foot space along Route 30 on Sharky’s Drive in Unity Township. With the Chamber outgrowing that space and the lease expiring, the Chamber found a new home close to the center of Latrobe.
“I just think that it’s important that the Chamber of Commerce be downtown,” Chamber board chairman Jerry Supko said. “This space became available and it worked out perfect for us. We picked up extra space at a better deal.”
The new headquarters near the Latrobe Art Center offers more space — about 4,000 square feet — and a central location that will be especially convenient when it comes time to gear up for the annual Great American Banana Split Celebration.
“They were looking to get back to the center of the community... they were seeking a relocation back to the downtown area,” McFeely-Rogers Foundation Executive Director James Okonak said. “One of the storefronts in the Rogers Building was available and they liked the space and the spot, and there they are.”
With large display windows, the street-level area of the new Chamber headquarters will serve to promote the area with historic photographs and displays, as well as a variety of Latrobe-themed memorabilia and clothing items available for purchase.
The new headquarters also has office space for Chamber president Briana Tomack and other staff, a large meeting room and, importantly, plenty of storage.
“They have a lot of materials for the (Great American) Banana Split Celebration and other activities that they have,” Okonak said. “They were sort of scattered throughout the community and people accommodated them to store some things, but with the total square-footage that they have there now, everything is centrally located and they’ve got it all in one spot that’s most convenient for them.”
In conjunction with the relocation, the Chamber has launched a fundraising campaign to cover renovation work at the new location, although a $50,000 grant from the McFeely-Rogers Foundation facilitated the majority of the costs to get the downtown building ready for the move.
“We’re pleased to have them back,” Okonak said. “It’s good for the total community, but I think it’s really a help for them to be located where they are. What’s good for them is good for Latrobe.”
The new GLLV Chamber office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with extended hours for special events. More information about the Chamber is available online at www.latrobelaurelvalley.org or by calling 724-537-2671.