Today, following months of careful financial analysis and review of its strategic plan and board mandates, Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. (GGHI) is announcing that it will no longer be able to host a Visitor Information Center (VIC). The Center will close January 2019, and visitors will be directed to Grays Harbor Tourism for information about events and attractions in the County.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision,” said Dru Garson, CEO of GGHI. “It came down to pure dollars and cents. Our organization can no longer support it under the current arrangement and still maintain its responsibilities to serve local businesses and other economic development priorities.”
The VIC is a legacy program that was originally intended to be temporary and act as added support to other existing tourism efforts put forth by entities focused primarily on that service. The economic development organization is now making the decision to close the service until such time as funding is made available to continue it and a contract is in place to solidify the resources for the service in the future.
“The hardest part about this decision is that we are going to have to lose one of our current staff members,” Garson added. “When your primary role in the community is job creation, releasing a position and saying goodbye to a valued staff member is made all the more painful.”
GGHI will retain its VIC through the end of the year and is hopeful that it may be able to work collaboratively with the county to potentially secure a contract that would allow it to stay open into 2019 and beyond.