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Reopened on Central Oregon Coast: Florence Chamber / Visitors Center

Published 07/18/020 at 4:24 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


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(Florence, Oregon) – While beaches and hotels in the central Oregon coast town of Florence have been open for awhile, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce office has been working virtually and the actual visitors center has not been open.

That opened up this week, according to chamber Executive Director Bettina Hannigan. However, the visitors center is open with limited hours and the schedules will vary depending on the availability of volunteers.

“We opened very trepidatiously, but we’re open most Mondays through Saturdays from about 11:00 a.m.to 3:00 p.m.,” Hannigan said. “In the past we’ve had more than 20 volunteers available, but that number is vastly reduced due to COVID-19 sensibilities. Still, several have stepped up because they love our community and greeting visitors.”

Staff are determined to add a little amusement to the new rules.

“Our events coordinator, Mitzi Hathaway, has come up with some fun coastal-themed signage to explain our new, state-mandated protocols,” she said. “For example, one sign instructs guest to stay ‘one fathom’ (6 feet) apart.”

As throughout the state of Oregon, masks are required indoors at this coastal hotspot’s info center. Plexiglass shields between volunteers and guests are in place, greeters direct guests to information but won’t hand them anything and there is a strict “if you touch it, take it” rule about brochures. Visitors need to keep in mind public restrooms at the center are closed; meanwhile signs welcome guests while encouraging grace and patience.

“There has been a positive upswing in tourism and we are excited to see so many people returning to spend money as they enjoy Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” Hannigan said. “We felt it was important to reopen the visitors center with safety protocols. We want visitors to feel welcome and safe, and to be safe and respectful of our community. Of course, we still encourage locals to shop locally and to be welcoming and gracious to those who have chosen to visit our area.”

Hannigan encourages visitors and the community to use FlorenceChamber.com or call 541-997-3128 instead of coming into the visitors center.

For more information on all that the Florence Area Chamber offers businesses and the community, or to join or volunteer, contact Hannigan at 541-997-3128 or visit FlorenceChamber.com.

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