A survey of members of lake area chamber of commerce organizations indicates significant interest in forming a committee to look at the feasibility of merging into one entity.


A survey of members of lake area chamber of commerce organizations indicates significant interest in forming a committee to look at the feasibility of merging into one entity.
The survey was conducted by the Lake Sun to gauge the interest of the business community. The survey was sent to members of all lake area chamber organizations.
More than 200 members of the various chambers responded to the survey.
Nearly 80 percent of the chamber members polled overwhelmingly said they wanted an exploratory committee formed to look into the possibility of a merger.
In an additional question, indicating a desire for one organization, 57 percent of the chamber members didn't need an exploratory committee, they simply wanted one entity to serve the entire lake area. They were opposed by 27 percent who said they wanted to keep the status quo with 16 percent not taking a position on either side of the question.
The poll seemed to indicate that there was a potential for new members if the organizations merged. More than 90 percent of non-chamber members polled said they would be more inclined to join a chamber that represented the entire lake.
Area chambers discussing the idea of a merger for sometime and are now ready to look into the possibility.
Camdenton Chamber Director Bruce Mitchell said three of the chamber boards have agreed to sit down and discuss the feasibility of a merger. Mitchell said the next step would be a poll of members of each of the organizations.
A merger does present challenges but it is an issue that needs to be discussed, he said.
Once the chambers meet, Mitchell said he would foresee a poll similar to the one conducted by the Lake Sun being done by the chambers.
The Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met this week and the topic of the chamber merger was discussed.  
Director Trish Creach said the board felt it is an intriguing idea that is worthy of study. The Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is in favor of the creation of an exploratory committee on this concept, she said.
Merging chamber organizations is not a new concept in the lake area. Years ago, the Osage Beach and Lake Ozark chambers merged and became what is now the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
On the west side of the lake, Sunrise Beach, Laurie and Gravois Mills became the Lake West chamber of Commerce.
The Lake Sun does not promote the results of the survey as a scientific finding.
Lake Sun Publisher John Tucker said although the results are not scientific "we do feel enough businesses were polled that the results were a good gauge of how folks felt."