Orientation Express invites community members to connect with local businesses | SkyHiNews.com

Orientation Express invites community members to connect with local businesses

Jill Suffin celebrates after winning $200 cash during the "Orientation Express" event in the Fraser Valley, which targeted front-line staff in the community to learn about and explore local businesses, Nov. 11-15. The Express was hugely successful with 12-25 passengers touring up to 10 businesses per night throughout Winter Park and Fraser. Another 125 members and staff attend the "i am Grand" countywide mixer at the Foundry Cinema and Bowl.
Winter Park- Fraser Chamber |

Hop on board, because the Orientation Express is rolling through the Fraser Valley, introducing residents to all the shops, stores and services the valley has to offer.

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Orientation Express, an event which invites guests to tour businesses around the area, getting free samples, networking and making friends.

Passengers must register online to participate, and will be given a ticket which lists tour stops. Participants will spend 15 to 20 minutes at each business sampling what they have to offer, before taking off to the next stop on the tour.

The tour will be lead by chamber staff and volunteers, and buses will be provided when stops are not within walking distance.

The event was the brainchild of Katherine Mowrey, owner of Epic Mountain Sports in Winter Park, and has been introducing residents to new businesses for about five years.

“It came through an idea from Katherine Mowrey talking about how many new people are in town, and how we have so many businesses that want to do open houses and ribbon cuttings for the holidays,” said Maria Chavez, membership services director for the chamber. “That’s when she thought it would be great to have a traveling open house.”

At every stop businesses will mark passengers’ tickets, which will be entered into nightly prize drawings including a $50 cash prize.

Participants will also be given a free drink ticket to redeem the night of their tour, and can vote on their favorite stops.

Over 70 local businesses have signed up to participate in the tour, according to Chavez, and passengers could visit up to 16 businesses a night. While that may seem daunting, passengers don’t have to participate for all five days.

“There’s a handful that do come all five days, but we understand that everybody is busy,” said Chavez. “You can go in and register for which nights you want to go.”

Cooper Creek Square has partnered with the Grand Blues Society to throw an after party for the event on Nov. 30, welcoming Analog Son to Smokin’ Moe’s. Analog Son is a Denver based funk band who played Blues From The Top in June.

The event is free, and will typically run from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at latest. Passengers should register online at http://www.playwinterpark.com/orientation-express-0.

“It honestly is a great time to not only get oriented with the community, try free samples, free food and drink, but also to meet new friends and network with your fellow passengers,” said Chavez.

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