Chamber of Commerce to Tackle Taste of Willow Creek

Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce President Cara Bussell, center left, and Mediha Saliba, President of Studio 299 Center for the Arts, center right, talked about the future of Taste of Willow Creek during the Chamber’s membership dinner on Wednesday, December 4. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

The Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce announced it will take charge of the popular Taste of Willow Creek event promoting local artists, winemakers, farmers, and craftspeople, starting in 2014.

Taste of Willow Creek, which has attracted visitors from all over Humboldt County and tourists from as far away as Oregon and Hawaii, was previously organized and run by Studio 299 Center for the Arts.

Mediha Saliba, President of Studio 299, said, “As an art’s organization our focus is more on the arts than the events that involve the businesses in the community like the Taste of Willow Creek, but we’re happy to support the Chamber in running it.”

Saliba added that the Chamber was already actively involved with the event over the past few years. “We’re just stepping back and letting them take the spotlight.”

Cara Bussell, the new President of the Chamber of Commerce, announced during the Chamber’s membership dinner at Willow Creek Golf and Country Club on Wednesday, December 4, that they are working on new tourism brochures for the town.

“They will have a map of Willow Creek with the locations of all of the member businesses,” she said.

Bussell, the daughter of Gordon “Gordy” Bussell, replaced Ed Duggan as Chamber President in September. She’s the Lead Universal Associate at Umpqua Bank in Willow Creek, and is working towards a business degree at Humboldt State University.

“The new brochure and map won’t come out until after the beginning of the new year,” Bussell said. “We’ll be distributing them out into Eureka and other areas.”

Local Businessman Marc Rowley, owner of Coho Cottages, was at Wednesday’s dinner and updated the Chamber on progress at the new China Creek Cottages – formerly Gambi Cottages on Highway 299.

“Some of the rooms are from 1928, so we’re redoing them like that era but with modern amenities,” Rowley said. “We’ll have flat screen TVs, which they didn’t have in 1928.”

The rebuilding project involves a lot of cleanup, with 41 loads hauled to the dump so far and counting.

“We’ve had a crew working there every day since August 2. Basically we take the rooms down to the studs and start over,” Rowley said.

The next Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce meeting will be on Wednesday, December 18, at 8:30 am at Umpqua Bank.

Leave a Reply