ELLSWORTH — “It’s new. It’s bigger!” Executive Director Gretchen Wilson says while standing in the middle of the gleaming parquet floor of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce’s new home. The chamber has moved from its stand-alone location in the Ellsworth Shopping Center to a new prime spot next to Martha’s Diner. Its grand opening was Monday, March 29.
The move was four years in the making, Wilson said. The chamber had held four consecutive 10-year leases for its former location, at the rate of $1 per year. But all good things, people say, come to an end, and Wilson was given fair warning that the lease would not be renewed a fifth time.
“We put away what we anticipated our [new] rent would be and negotiated a deal that hit that,” Wilson said.
But despite a higher rent and maintenance costs from which the old location was exempt, Wilson said the advantages of the new location more than make up for the financial change.
Display cases for local organizations and businesses are now prominent rather than tucked away, and a conference table, donated by Bob Merrill of Merrill Furniture, will allow for small meetings. And the increased space for brochures allows for more shelf displays for individual businesses, too.
“It’s great location,” Wilson said. “We’re the first stop for your [Acadia] park pass and for information.”