By Michael Roberts | posted on January 14, 2021
MORE than 30 local volunteers have put their hand up to help revive the Denmark Visitors Centre as the town experiences one of its busiest tourist seasons on record.
The facility controversially shut between August and December after Amazing South Coast Tourism announced in February 2019 that it would cease operations.
A community group, Den- mark Tourism Incorporation, formed with the idea of revitalising the Visitors Centre, but its proposal was rejected by Council.
Heading into what was expected to be an incredibly busy summer for local businesses, it remained uncertain whether Denmark would have an official face-to-face visitor service for tourists.
But the Denmark Chamber of Commerce (DCC) saved the day at the last minute by offering to run the Visitors Centre between December 2020 and April 2021.
CEO Sumer Addy said she had been thrilled with the response from locals after putting out the call for volunteers.
“DCC worked intensely all of December to set up operations, recruit volunteers and open the visitor centre doors for service on Boxing Day,” she said.
“And we have heard nothing but positive feedback from businesses, locals and visitors.
“Town is incredibly busy. It is a ‘all-hands-on-deck’ situation where owners and employees are working at their maximum levels.”
Despite the Denmark Visitors Centre reopening its doors, the future of the purpose-built facility is still unknown beyond April.
The Shire of Denmark is currently developing a tourism strategy that will help guide that decision, with a draft strategy expected by April.
State, Federal and Local governments spent close to $750,000 constructing the tourism building in 2007, with then Shire of Denmark CEO Pascoe Durtanovich hailing the Centre “as an attraction in itself”.
“If it’s the view of experts that a bricks and mortar visitors centre is what’s required then that’s what will be recommended, but equally if the review and community and industry come up with an alternative, then that’s ultimately how council will be guided,” Shire of Denmark Acting CEO David Schober told the Weekender in October.
In the short-term, Ms Addy said the DCC was still welcoming volunteers to get involved with running the Visitors Centre this summer.
“In February, we are starting up bi-weekly Tea and Training sessions where a guest from the Shire comes in and shares their expertise with the team,” she said
“It is a great way to get to know Denmark and it’s amazing people.”