The Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau is now operating out of the same building as the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.
The Wilmington and Beaches CVB signed a five-year lease for space at 1 Estell Lee Place, a building owned by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, and is taking up 2,800 square feet of the 5,600-square-foot building, Natalie English, president and CEO of the Wilmington chamber, said Thursday.
The CVB moved its administrative offices and visitor information center into the space in April, English said. The new location is close to the CVB's former spot in a unit of a city-owned building at 505 Nutt St.
"[CVB President and CEO] Kim Hufham and I started the conversation several years ago whether it would be beneficial for us to be co-located, and we have agreed it was a good idea. It just took us some time," English said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the timeline.
Hufham, president and CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority that does business as the Wilmington and Beaches CVB, and English said the move would help the two organizations promote the area's economic growth and quality of place.
“We are excited to share a building with the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, an organization that we have always worked very closely with and whose mission complements ours. We believe the co-location of our riverfront offices will be a win-win for visitors and our industry partners," Hufham said in a joint news release Thursday.
A year-round visitor information center is on the building's ground floor for walk-in visitors, the news release stated. The CVB's administrative offices are on the second floor, with chamber offices on the first floor.
City officials said that the CVB's former space currently is not occupied.
"We are still working on determining what to do with this building. We are assessing the building to determine if it needs ... maintenance work," said Erris Dunston, assistant to the city manager for economic development.
Since the move in April, the organizations have made improvements to the building, including adding the visitor information center, which reopened in mid-May, stated the release. A red brick walkway was also recently installed to connect the Riverwalk to the building’s visitor center, stated the release.
New signs are also going to be installed that include both the CVB and chamber logos.