The local Trinidad and Las Animas Chamber of Commerce was established in 1881 and since then has been helping local merchants, businesses, and travelers navigate the area in a variety of ways. Impressively, the organization has stood the test of time having held their ground through the pandemic of 1917, the Dust Bowl, both World Wars, and now continues to help today with the current novel coronavirus pandemic.
The chamber’s director, Nicia Crosson, said they are waiting for some final touches in their new location at the Champion’s Building on Commercial Street in Trinidad and would soon be unpacking and making themselves at home in their newly renovated facilities. She also expressed how her and the board hoped the move would signify a refreshed perception of an organization that’s been around for over a century.
“The board came together and really just wanted a fresh start,” said Crosson. “Kind of like a new era to begin for us. We’re trying to be more business focus than we’ve been in a long time and recognize the importance of building the business networking community. We had been there [at 136 W Main St] for so long and there was nothing wrong with being there, but we wanted this to be an outward showing of what was internally going on.”
Crosson said internally, the board had been refocusing and reworking their mission statement and vision to make helping and supporting businesses their focal point.
“That’s the identity of a chamber,” said Crosson. “To be a unifying organization for the business community.”
With renovations still underway in the Champion’s Building, Crosson said they were excited to be in a newly renovated building with such historic heritage.
“It’s neat because I think of the pictures I’ve seen of Commercial in the forties and sometimes look down from my window and can imagine the hustle and bustle that has been traveling that street for so many years,” said Crosson, “and we’re still there and part of it.”
Crosson also expressed she was thankful that groups like Downtown Development are going around and preserving old historic buildings that make up the heritage of the area.
“It’s not forgetting who we are, but celebrating who we are,” said Crosson. “This building is such a celebration of something that’s withstood the test of time. It doesn’t mean that we have to keep it in that place but that we bring it into the present and celebrate who we are now.”
With the last bit of finishing touches to the building being made, Crosson said if all goes according to plan, they hope to be unpacked and set up by the end of the month.