Southern Humboldt Business and Visitors Bureau to open in Garberville

The Southern Humboldt Business and Visitors Bureau hopes to attract new businesses and more tourists to the area.

“We’re going to do a soft opening probably the end of September [or] early October,” Laura Lasseter said.

Lasseter recently left the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce to join the Humboldt County Visitors and Convention Bureau board of directors and hospitality committees and she will be on the board for the new bureau, too.

“This is a totally separate entity, it has nothing to do with the county [convention and visitors bureau],” she said.

“We are an official nonprofit,” she said.

The office is at 773 Redwood Drive Suite E in Garberville and is currently in the final phases of construction.

“We’re finalizing the decor,” Lasseter said.

And she’s got big plans including bringing Arts Alive! back.

“It’s been a couple years since Arts Alive! has been in Southern Humboldt,” Lasseter said.

The triumphant return of the arts event is set for Oct. 6, she said.

Lasseter said these sorts of bureaus are common throughout the country.

“This is another step in Southern Humboldt, turning the page from the logging industry,” she said.

Lasseter said she wants to brand the area and turn it into a destination for visitors and tourists through business leadership, education and offering visitors services.

“We’re really looking forward to educating people on what there is to do in Southern Humboldt,” she said.

Some Southern Humboldt visitors guides have already been printed and will be given out once the office opens, Lasseter said.

“We have a lot of new businesses launching here in Southern Humboldt,” she said.

The five-member bureau board of directors includes a fire chief, consultants and business and land owners who will be helped by an assistant, Lasseter said.

“We plan on working with local government units, private people and others,” she said.

Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, who represents Southern Humboldt County, did not return calls for comment by the publishing deadline.

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Hunter Cresswell can be reached at 707-441-0506.