By JAMES DAY

Corvallis Gazette-Times

Visit Corvallis and the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce have different missions, but enough in common that they now occupy the same building.

Visit Corvallis, the tourism bureau for the city and Benton County, has moved from its lodgings on Northwest Harrison Boulevard and Fifth Street to the chamber building on Northwest Second Street.

“Both organizations’ boards of directors have been working on this concept for some time, since our missions are somewhat aligned,” said Kevin Dwyer, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, a group of 530-plus businesses that serves members’ business interests and aims to benefit the community.

“Lots of times visitors and locals were coming to the chamber for tourism information and advice. There’s a natural overlap between representing and promoting local businesses and directing visitors to the same businesses and attractions.”

Mary Pat Parker, the executive director of Visit Corvallis, agrees.

“We see this co-location as an opportunity to better serve the public,” she said. “Both organizations experienced inquiries that the other organization was better able to address.

“Instead of sending people down the street to find the relevant information they are looking for, we now offer one-stop shopping if you will.”

Dwyer and Parker said that they hope to take advantage of collaboration opportunities in helping promote the community to visitors at Oregon State University athletic contests, symposiums, workshops and other major events.

OPENING EVENT

Visit Corvallis and the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce are hosting a joint Business After Hours at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce, 420 N.W. Second St. The Hawaiian-themed event costs $8 for chamber members and $10 for nonmembers.

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