February 2009 —Since 1919— THERMOPOLIS - HOT SPRINGS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
To promote the economic health and well being of Notes from the President…
Thermopolis-Hot Springs County businesses through
the promotion of tourism, community development
and economic growth.
The Chamber exists to serve the community. The
Chamber embodies the collective civic spirit of Hot It is an honor to be a part of this 90th celebration.
Springs County businesses and acts as an active, I’ve only been involved with the Chamber of
positive, and progressive force. The Chamber, as a
representative of its membership and community, Commerce for 5 years, but since I was born and
must act at all times with responsibility and integrity. raised in Thermopolis, I can say that I have been
involved with our community all my life.
Kathy A. Wallingford, Executive Director
We’d like everyone to celebrate with us at our
Kellie Faith, Events Coordinator Annual Chamber Banquet on March 14, 2009. We’ll
Carolyn Solomon– Office Staff have great food, good music, good friends, and
2008—2009 Board of Directors maybe even birthday cake!!
Veva Blakesley, President
Bank of Wyoming
Dave Wood, Vice President If you have a special memory of the Chamber of
Nielsen Oil Commerce over its many years, please let Kathy
Deborah Simon, Secretary/Treasurer
know. We would welcome anyone to share their
memories with us at the Annual Banquet.
Harvey Seidel - Bar-None Morgan Horse Ranch,
Don’t forget—we will also be announcing the
Dixie Vialpando, Individual Business and Citizen of the Year at our banquet. If
Debbie Mount, Needful Things
Nancy Blaich, Eagle RV Park
you didn’t make it to our “party” last year, ask
Glenn Witt, A&W Lanes someone who did. You don’t want to miss this year!
Lou Falgoust, HS CO Sheriff
Rick Ridenour, WOW Discount
Tawna McQueen, Pinnacle Bank Veva
Cindy Stevens– Shorty’s Saloon
Dick Hall- Town Representative The Hot Spot is published by the
Brad Basse - County Representative Thermopolis - Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce
Lorraine Quarberg - Thermopolis EDC 220 Park Street, P.O. Box 768 Thermopolis, WY 82443
NICK HAREN: DELORES LOUGHLIN:
I’m very pleased to be a part of the Chamber’s history. I I went to work for the Chamber in 1970. The Chamber was in the
must admit I’m feeling more like a relic with each passing same building then as it is today, but just in the south office. We took
year. care of the tourism brochures; the job was 5 days a week– 7 hours per
day. At that time the job title was secretary.
My entire family often shares many fond memories of the
years we lived there. Just this past Thanksgiving the girls When I first went to work the job description wasn’t very much. The
wanted me to haul out the projector to show their husbands first year I was there it was time to plan my class reunion. I asked the
the many slide images taken during their early childhood board if I could organize an all school reunion on Chamber time and
years in Thermopolis. they said yes. That was the first year of the THS Alumni Reunion. It
is still an Annual affair 38 years later.
As the Chamber Executive Director I was naturally involved
in a broad spectrum of the community’s issues and events, We joined with other northern Wyoming towns to promote tourism.
and I genuinely enjoyed working with the many people who One year we had a winter tour for travel writers and motor clubs. It
participated in one way or another. Together we set records started in Gillette and finished in Cody. Our guests thought it a grand
for special events cash flow to help finance tourism promo- adventure and I was the bus driver!
tion, broke a freight monopoly that created competition and
gave regional business owners better service and pricing, There were very active retail and tourism committees.
and were even accused of selling sex on our new, four-color
travel brochure to name just a few. One year after elections we invited the full legislature and Governor
to a free weekend. They toured the Park and Pioneer Home, They
There are far too many other happenings and wonderful really enjoyed that and learned a great deal about our needs. This
people to mention here, but together they frequently invade was a great undertaking.
my family’s memories of Thermopolis/Hot Springs County.
The chamber became more active in working with the National
Thanks again for the treasure chest of memories. Chamber and State tourism. When Frank Manning was President, he
changed the job title to Executive Manager. It was a wonderful job,
The Chamber of Commerce is structured as a non-profit organization and has operated under a set of bylaws and policy for the last
ninety years. Much to my delight, this structure was strongly in place when I started at the chamber. In 1995, I replaced Breez
Daniels, who had left a large mark of success on the chamber. My husband and I were new to town and immediately fell in love with
the area, the scenery, the river, the town and the people. The people generously stepped forward to help me further the chamber’s
I served under many hard working, committed chamber presidents, officers and board members. They each brought their own
expertise to the chamber. When I started as director, Bob O’Dea was serving as past president and Mark Jackson was president.
They and the board pitched in to fill the gaps as I hurriedly learned about all of the many events and committees. Carol Zancanata, as
president, led the board the year Frances and I began to create a communication system to send a local calendar of events to
members, citizens, and local government officials.
Ken Ralston’s and Randy Wahler’s terms were spent helping us build stronger more accountable committees and stronger
communication between the town, county, businesses, and other entities in Hot Springs County. President Larry Elcock taught me
how to give strong presentations to groups of people. Don Nordwick and the chamber board joined forces with lodging tax to
strengthen our approach to tourism, and laid important ground work for keeping up with changing tourism trends. Martin Andreen,
Gwenda Urbigkit and other board members brought in a strong presence of community service and volunteerism. They joined Dave
Denton in creating a program to find a permanent home for the chamber and visitor center. These presidents helped me to mold the
chamber while I served as director; and these past presidents were there to offer a helping hand. Guy Bjorklund served as President
in 1958 and is still serving the chamber fifty one years later! Other Past Presidents I worked with include Clark Mortimore, Dennis
Sinclair, Louis Walrath, Don Kraske, Jerry Slagle and Les Mason. Tom Berry taught me so much about Tourism. Dr. Frank
Manning has also been a great mentor. These Past Presidents and other officers and board members gave money and many hours of
their time to continue to grow the chamber as an important, respected oganization who proudly serves this wonderful community!
Two of my successes was building membership from 268 to 281 paid members. I also established a program to ensure the success of
committees and events which increased the profitability of each. My years at the Chamber were a lot of hard work but it was the
funnest job. I enjoyed working with each year’s board, committees and Frances , Dave, and Martin. I believe I left the chamber
better than when I started. I'm proud of that.
KATHY A WALLINGFORD: BREEZ LONGWELL DANIELS:
It is humbling for me to follow in the footsteps of the past Chamber Being the Executive Director for the Chamber of
Executive Directors. How wonderful it is to be the chamber director for Commerce was the perfect job for someone fresh out of
my home town. college and eager to work.
My main focus is to follow the Chambers vision statement: “To When I interviewed for the position I wasn’t even sure
promote the economic health and well being of Thermopolis-Hot what the job entailed. I had recently finished a degree in
Springs County businesses, through the promotion of tourism, com- Elementary Education and as a brand new mom of two
munity development, and economic growth”. children under the age of three I had been substitute
teaching. Several business owners encouraged me to
I feel blessed to serve with the Chamber Board of Directors. They are apply.
very involved in the community, businesses, and the future of
Thermopolis. The day I told my Dad I had taken the job he threw a fit
and told me I would hate it. He was of the opinion that it
When I interviewed for this job, I did not realize how much was was a “no win” job and no matter what you did someone
involved with being a Chamber Director. would be unhappy.
When we were on 5th St (that is where the chamber was when I got the But I wanted to give it a try; I was young and didn’t
job) it was great for our membership, but hardly any visitors knew where know any better.
the chamber was, so we were not able to promote our membership and
Thermopolis the way a chamber should. Now when I see the poster, “Everything I need to know I
learned in Kindergarten,” I think, “Everything I need to
When we moved to our current location, WOW what a difference it has know I learned as a Chamber Director!” The politics, the
made—we have tourists all year around and it is so great to long hours and the incredible rewards of working with
promote Thermopolis. When we have tourists come into the chamber the Thermopolis-Hot Springs County were life lessons.
they remind us of all we have to offer everyone with our natural beauty
in our wonderful town, it makes it all worthwhile. After years in high school when everyone says, “I can’t
wait to get out of this town”, I came to truly love my
It is a challenge in the 21st century for Chambers and the membership— community and respect the people who work so hard to
we are in challenging times right now. These are not only make it thrive.
challenging times for us, but are challenging times for most business
people. I am reminded when business is slowing, customers aren’t I have special memories and respect for the people who
spending dollars, and that’s the time we need to maximize and utilize the made my experience as Chamber Director a success.
benefits the chamber provides. Mark Jackson was a tremendous board member and
taught me how to bring energy to the job every single
It is wonderful to see how Thermopolis has changed over the years. We day. Jacque Michel and Bob O’Dea gave me lessons in
are all so fortunate to live in a small town community with a big heart. budgeting and financial management. Carol Zancanata
brought a sense of positive forward thinking to every
Thank you Thermopolis! decision. Frances Smith ran the office and cheerfully
greeted every visitor that walked in or called on the
phone. Ted Spatol was a cheerleader for every event and
LINDA GROVES: kept me on my toes. There are so many people who made
1986-1987 the work of Chamber Director an amazing experience,
As one of the Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber Executive my list could go on and on.
Directors, I enjoyed the many people I met from all walks of life and
from all over the world! There were people coming into the Chamber The biggest lesson I learned—it takes all of us
office who were just visiting, some were looking to start a new business working together to do great things.
here in Thermopolis, and some were interested in moving here. New
projects, new ideas, and new events were part of the efforts to promote
this great town!
From this job, I learned endurance, diplomacy, versatility, strength and
patience. I also learned that it takes dedication and an unwavering loyalty
to Thermopolis and the people who live here to be successful.
Oh give me a home…..
Where the Buffalo roam….
And the sky is not cloudy all day….
A nice day for a relaxing walk...
A very different view of Thermopolis!
Pageant Days Celebration that
enabled us to use that wonderful
water that started our beautiful
Enticing visitors to Thermopolis
Beautiful Hot Springs State Park
Look at that beautiful authentic Indian
And the Big Spring that provides all of the
healing water Roundtop watching over us...
Guy Bjorklund started his retail career over 72 years ago that once included business interests in local stores including Coast to Coast
(now Hardware Hank), A & W Restaurant, Legion Club, Ben Franklin, and BF Apparel. In 1941 he took his first job with
J.C. Penney Company in Newcastle. The widely known Penney’s stores were founded in Kemmerer, WY in 1902. During a 31 year
career with the company he would gain retail experience that he later used to start many businesses of his own.
The road to retail was put on hold on June 1, 1942 when Bjorklund joined the Marine Corps and served through October 1945. He
moved to Billings to be near his future wife, Kay, and enrolled in Billings Business College to study accounting.
Bjorklund returned to work for Penney’s while he was in college and was offered a department management position that he held
That August, Penney’s promoted Bjorklund to Thermopolis manager. Over the years he worked at the store six days a week and
many late nights during the Christmas season until he took early retirement in June 1976.
Bjorklund spoke highly of James Cash Penney. “The bonus system designed by Penney himself was generous. One-third of the net
profit came back to the store”
“We got enough bonus in Billings the last year I was there to buy a car.”
Bjorklund said managers took care of all aspects of the store, starting each morning with sweeping the sidewalk and washing
windows. “Managers took an oath of integrity,” he said. “They swore to honesty, courtesy, service, and cooperation.”
In 1976 the Bjorklunds became corporate partners with Lee and Julia Achilles and bought the Coast to Coast store from Henry
“We also got involved with managing the Legion Club and bought the A&W from Tommy Guthrie,” he said. “Ten months later Lee
died of a heart attack. There was a buy-out clause in our partnership with Lee and Julia, and we bought Julia out.”
“We know all about indebtness; we were up to our neck in debt,” Kay added. “At that time interest was 18-20%, and we worked for
the bank for a lot of years. We paid the bills first and had what was left for us.”
In 1979 the Bjorklunds sold the A&W to Phil Witt. In 1980 their daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Dennis Sinclair, joined them at
the Coast to Coast store. “Dennis gave up one heck of a job to join us,” Bjorklund said. “They called him every day for 30 days and
offered him more money.”
The Bjorklunds sold the Coast to Coast store to the Sinclair's in 1986.
In 1989 the district manager of Coast to Coast talked the Bjorklunds into buying the store in Douglas with their son and
daughter-in-law, Gary and Dorothy Bjorklund.
“The store later became an Ace Hardware and doubled or tripled in size,” Bjorklund said. “We also bought the store in Glenrock.
Our manager was Greg Underberg. He was the only manager we ever had in Douglas. He is a wonderful person and has an uncanny
memory for names. I look after him like a son.” Underberg and his wife, Lora, were also partners in the Douglas store.
“We used to have a big Coast to Coast store owners fun weekend in Thermopolis,” Kay said. “One year we had 44 people at our
house to eat steaks. That was a lot of fun. Coast to Coast was like a big family.”
When asked how retailing has changed over the years, Bjorklund said big box stores have taken over.
“J.C. Penney even closed all their small stores and have mainly mall stores,” he said. “There used to be a Penney’s in every town in
the Big Horn Basin.”
Kay added, “They don’t really give any service. You have to wait on yourself.”
Bjorklund said that he and Kay recently went shopping in a mall and spent two hours in a store and only one person said hello.
“It bothers us to see the lack of service in all big stores,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed retailing and liked to work with people. If you
like people, 98% of the people are really nice.”
A little bit of history….. Some history on us…..
Don’s IGA was established in 1973 where the Ritz Back in 1967, Diddy and Irene Curtin
theatre is currently operating. The current store purchased the liquor store at 408 Broadway
in Thermopolis. There began a relationship
was built in 1981. We bought the store from my
between the community and people of
parents, Don and Marty Kraske, in 2003. We added
Thermopolis and the Curtin family. Diddy
a full service pharmacy, Corner Drug at Dons IGA, in and Irene retired in 1996 and their son Pat
1999 and a liquor store in 2004. took over the business of providing the
needs of Thermopolis. This has continued
What we provide…… for 42 years.
We are a full service grocery store offering fresh
produce and meat, a large assortment of health and
beauty aids, general merchandise, frozen foods, Curtin’s tries to achieve ultimate service for
dairy products, pet food, grocery, AKA foods and each and every person that trades with us.
even non-foods. When people want to use alcohol, they
usually want a festive program and Curtin’s
tries to make the upcoming evening as
A little bit about us…… enjoyable as possible.
I went to school in Thermopolis from Kindergarten You Should Know….
thru my senior year in High School. Ilja is from
Holland. We met in graduate school and have lived
Curtin’s is always ready to serve you,
in Thermopolis for 15 years. We have 3 wonderful
and if possible, we do provide special
children: Parker, age 6, Aisley, age 6, and Kirsten,
orders at great savings. Curtin’s, here
age 8. Our goal is to provide convenience and value
for 42 years, serving the people of
Thermopolis and enjoying every last
every day of the week to our customers. Ilja and I
minute throughout those years.
have both lived many places outside Wyoming, and
count our blessings everyday we wake up in the
cowboy state, and even more specifically in
Thermopolis. This is a fabulous place to raise kids,
have a life, and eventually retire. We would like to
thank our local loyal customers. If there is
anything we need to carry that we don’t, talk to
Greg or Chuck and we will try to get it in for you.
These gems of wisdom were pulled from the archives of the Independent Record:
WHY I BELONG TO MY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
1. Because through the Chamber of Commerce the individual citizen can best discharge his obligations to the city in which he lives
and makes a living.
2. Because I reap benefits in my personal affairs thru the concerted planning, counsel, and action that is obtained thru the work of
the chamber of commerce.
3. Because I realize that every man owes a debt to his community that cannot be paid in taxes...a debt of personal service.
4. Because I believe that the man who serves his community thru active participation in the work of his chamber of commerce will
develop his own powers and broaden his own views.
5. Because the chamber of commerce unifies the public spirit of any city and directs it into useful and constructive channels.
6. Because the chamber of commerce helps create and express sound opinion on questions affecting the welfare of my city and
county, state, and the country at large.
7. Because it links the people of the entire community together in a common enterprise, and makes possible great public and busi-
8. Because my judgment tells me that whatever is best for this city and my neighbors is too valuable an asset for me to pass up.
9. Because the chamber of commerce is the gauge of a city’s enterprise, prosperity and ambitions, and reflects the combined
wishes of the community.
10. Because as a member of the chamber of commerce, I am afforded an opportunity actually to work for conditions I have hoped
for, and indirectly, from the work and the organization and in personal satisfaction in working toward a goal that is not entirely
in the range of self-interests.
11. Because my membership in the chamber shows my sympathy with an organized effort to better my city and improve conditions
of life within it.
12. Because active participation in community affairs is both a personal privilege and civic responsibility.
13. Because it is unfair and unjust for me to derive benefits from a community-serving organization and not give it my active sup-
14. Because I consider that membership in the chamber of commerce pays a high rate of interest in community service, personal
contacts, community betterment and civic pride.
15. Because the chamber of commerce holds up an ideal of civic development and commercial advancement that tends to the en-
couragement of what is helpful and the elimination of what is harmful.
16. Because I am selfish enough to want the greatest return for my money and the best results from my efforts, and I know these can
be best secured thru cooperative effort with my fellows.
17. Because I want to play my part in the organized development of my community and to carry my share of the public burden.
18. Because the chamber of commerce is business insurance—an institution that is accomplishing great good for my city at a time
when concerted action means more than ever before.
19. Because I realize that attention to my business is not enough. No individual business will prosper greatly unless general condi-
tions are improved. The chamber of commerce is part of a nation-wide business movement working to that end. As an individual
I want to pool my efforts with others for greatest results.
The above list was advertised in our very own Independent Record through the late 1930’s and into the 1940’s. Isn’t it ironic that the
same beliefs of the founders of our chamber of commerce are the same as those that we have today? They knew that, even before the
age of technology that we enjoy now, we must all work as partners and work together for the betterment of our community. The only
success we can achieve is if we band together and work towards a common goal. Working against each other, and for our own
agendas, will only bring all of us down. They said it in the beginning of this organization and we say it now: “We succeed together
and we fail together, but let us not cast blame. Let us just carry on and make every day better than the one before.” We hope you
have enjoyed this little glimpse into the pages of yester-year. Now please read on as we explore the 1940’s all the way until today.
This is a journey thru time we think you will really enjoy!
For your perusing pleasure…
The Chamber of Commerce has minutes and information dating back
to the 1930’s. Come on down and sit for a spell and soak in the words
from our past. They’re a great way to guide our future. In 90 more
years just imagine what they will be reading about us!
Are there any events or announcements that you would like added to The Hot Spot Newsletter? Contact us at 307.864.3192 or email at
email@example.com. Thank you for your help!!
Straight from the News…….
**Something discussed for many years—a guide to conduct tours to the highlights of the State Park—will be tried next week,
starting Sunday. The tours will be held each evening, starting at 7 p.m., and all tourists will be invited to take them at no
charge. Mrs. Jessie Duhig, who has lived here since early days and knows the history and legends of the Springs, Devil’s
Punch Bowl, Terraces and other attractions, will be in charge. The tours are being sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce,
and money for a ten-day trial period was put up by the business people in State Park. If the tours are a success, the Chamber of
Commerce will help raise sufficient money to continue them through the summer. Theory behind the tours is that most people
visiting here fail to see many of the attractions, and very few of them ever learn anything concerning the history and
background...that if they knew these things their visit would be more enjoyable and they will tell “the folks back home where
they have been and what they have seen”. Note: The tours were a success and continued through the summer of 1941.
**Printed September 11, 1941. Cattlemen thought it was a disgrace to old Thermopolis, but the tourists thought it was great. It
was the sheep wagon information center established by the Chamber of Commerce in mid-June at the junction of Broadway
and Sixth and operated all summer with Gyp Hayek in charge. Donated by George McKenzie for the summer the sheep wagon
with long years of service behind it on the range, served Thermopolis well. An average of 440 cars a week and 4,841 visitors
from all 48 states, Brazil, Holland, Argentina, Hawaii, Alaska and Canada stopped at the wagon for free tourist information.
**Will Dizzy Dean accept the Chamber of Commerce invitation to come to Thermopolis to have his once fearsome right arm
rejuvenated at the worlds largest mineral hot springs? Everyone elsewhere thinks his arm will never regain its old power, but
homefolks feel he hasn’t tried everything until he’s tried the best, right here in Thermop.
**We doubt if it could be done but one of the boys in an argument at the City Drug Store has been advocating that the Atlantic
Ocean should be drained as a means of licking the submarine menace.
In other parts of the country on February 21, 1941…..1st instant developing camera demonstrated in NYC, by E H Land
and the 1st broadcast of the 1st US TV soap opera "A Woman to Remember"
In the news from the 1950’s….
**T.E. Delaney, a member of the Chamber of Commerce Road Committee, told members at a meeting on Monday that
he thought the Dubois Road would be a reality in the next 10 years. The idea of a road across the Owl Creek Mountains
began 10 years ago.
**The Chamber of Commerce has received 18 paid memberships for a total of $1100 in 1955. The budget for 1955 has
been set by the Board of Directors at $4800 which seems to be a minimum, so help your club, your board of directors,
and your membership committee by mailing in your 1955 dues.
**The Retail Committee of the Chamber of Commerce has announced new grocery hours. All groceries except Bob’s
and Carey’s will be closed Sunday, and no stores will remain open after 7 pm.
**1250 baby chicks will arrive in Thermopolis to be distributed to Hot Springs County boys and girls in the annual
Chamber of Commerce “Chicken of Tomorrow” contest. The contestants will raise the babies and return 4 fully grown
fryers to the sponsors for every 50 chicks purchased.
Elsewhere in the nation on February 14, 1956 …...Pirates & Kansas City A's cancel an exhibition game in Birmingham
AL, because of local ordinance barring blacks from playing against whites.
Straight from the archives….
January 30, 1969: Dr. Ben Gitlitz told a group that a “fly-in” involving 50-55 planes is planned June 21. Dr. Gitlitz and Chamber
President Reg Filkey called upon local citizens to go all out in putting forth a friendly face for Thermopolis and making all visitors
feel welcome. A tour of Gottsche Rehabilitation Center, Tepee Spa and other park facilities is planned along with a drive thru Wind
Also that year:
**The Chamber of Commerce went on record this week opposing any further drug regulations which are already covered by the
Food and Drug Administration and “which interferes with the freedom of all.”
**A member drive will follow breakfast, teams will be identified by their red, white, and blue vests. “United We Stand” is the 1969
Chamber Slogan. Several projects are planned: phone or mail contacts with tourists is a major item on the agenda. Another
undertaking is the Gift of the Waters Pageant, which include a parade, businessmen’s breakfast and other activities.
And earlier in the decade…
**Lowell Fulton expressed deep concern for the future of the Chamber of Commerce unless more help, both physically and finan-
cially, is not forthcoming from the local businessmen—many of whom have not paid the small dues required for membership. Only
83 memberships have been renewed out of more than 160 possibilities.
Meanwhile…..in other news… on February 27, 1960 the US Olympics Ice Hockey Team beats USSR 3-2 en route to a gold medal.
“Its that time of year again—its starting to warm up outside reports the Chamber of Commerce office and, in conjunction with
NOWCAP, we are offering absolutely free the services of 17 workers to go around town and clean up, trim trees and paint. All you
have to do is supply the needed materials and call the Chamber office. Also a representative for the Fire Department will be giving
free fire prevention inspections of your home and/or business. Please contact them for more information to set up your inspection!”
** Republican candidate for State Treasurer, Craig Thomas, will be the featured speaker the Chamber of Commerce luncheon in
July. He is also scheduled to speak at the Wyoming Pioneer Home. Emphasizing the importance of the State Treasurer as a member
of numerous boards and commissions, Thomas has noted that an efficient and responsive state government is the best defense against
an increasingly dominant federal establishment.
** At the Annual Chamber Banquet, Hot Springs County High School band director William “Bill” Malloy was named “Man of the
Year” by the Chamber of Commerce. This award came on the heels of several honors and awards he has collected as a teacher in the
Hot Springs County School District. As director of the high school band, he led it to its third consecutive first place finish in its class
in marching and maneuvering at the Wyoming Band Days held earlier this fall in Laramie.
Also going on around the world on February 2, 1977... Radio Shack officially begins creating the TRS-80 computer;
Toronto's Ian Turnbull scores 5 goals, NHL record for a defenseman; the burn up of Salyut 4 Space Station (USSR)
Ripped from the headlines…..
**The Small Business Administration, with the Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce acting as co-sponsor, has
scheduled a conference in Colorado Springs. The Conference titled “New Directions in Economic Development,” will be directed
toward local government, community and business leaders with the six state SBA region.
**Tourists passing thru Thermopolis this summer will be able to find out about attractions in the area by stopping at a sheep wagon.
The LU Sheep Co. has donated an authentic sheepherder wagon to the Thermopolis Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce for use
during the high-tourist months. The wagon will be placed somewhere near the flower bed at the stoplight, if approved by the
Thermopolis Town Council. Chamber director Nick Heran said tourist information such as brochures will be placed either in a rack
next to the wagon or inside the wagon itself. “We’re doing it to get better visibility by the traveling public, hopefully being able to
stop them and inform them of the attractions in the area.”
**The Chamber added 2 board members to act as liaison people with the Hot Springs County Commission and Thermopolis Town
Council. This will hopefully create a better working relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and the two political bodies.
In recent history: February 8, 1983….Champion thoroughbred Shergar kidnapped in Ireland and was never found; Lloyds of
London pays $10.6 million insurance. Major League Baseball orders Mickey Mantle to sever ties with Claridge Casino.
And the minutes read……
1999….. after researching it was discovered the wall on the Wyo-West building does belong to the Dino Center. We can use the wall
for a contract period, as the Dino Center may want to build on the lot someday.
1998….The Ritz Theatre, constructed from the old IGA building is now 15 years old. Some of the projection equipment logs well
over 60 operating years and with replacement parts in some cases impossible to come by as the old Motograph projector is a 1930’s
model. Finally they got their new projector purchased!
1994….The 3-on-3 Hot Spot Tournament started with a 118 teams playing in 14 divisions. Who would have thought the tournament
would have grown so much as the years went by?
1992…...Nancy Jacobs informed the board that her son is going to the Clinton Inauguration. They are presently gathering gifts to be
put together in a package for Bill Clinton. Jeremy may offer an antique bottle full of mineral water. I would suggest something for
1990….the 3rd Annual Customer Appreciation Dinner from the business merchants and the Chamber of Commerce was a huge
success! It has grown into a night when all of the businesses pull together to provide a night of community support, sharing and
cheering on our high school football team.
In national news……."The Bradys" return to TV for 6 episodes on CBS TV and Galileo flies by Venus
And we read on…….
In 2007 we decided to try something completely new and different. This was the year we got the Wine, Food, and Fine Arts Festival
off the ground. It was heralded with great results. This event is now in its 3rd year and each year it is getting better than the one
2001—Gottsche held the Grand Opening for their new Wellness Gym! Gottsche is also celebrating a momentous birthday this
month, so Happy Birthday Gottsche
2000—The Board of Directors sent a letter against the Nuclear Waste Incinerator. Could you imagine having something like that
close to our beautiful little town?
By the year 2000 the Hot Spot Shootout had grown beyond our wildest dreams. Since its inception in 1994 it has grown by 293%!
Compared to the 14 divisions in 1994 we now have 30 different divisions. In 2000, we also filled motels in Thermopolis, Worland,
and Shoshoni and began to fill Meeteetse and Riverton. Who could ever have imagined that it would grow so big, and so fast?
We saw a great influx of new businesses into the downtown area. The empty storefronts are really starting to fill up and it looks
And in other news on February 18……. FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. He was ultimately
convicted and sentenced to life in prison and also Nebraska bans electric chair as sole execution method.
It all started in an A-Frame building at the entrance to Hot
By: Toddi Darlington
Springs State Park….
My chamber story can’t be told without giving credit to my dearest
From there we moved…..to the Hot Springs County Museum friend Frances Smith, her husband Dave, and Martin and Linda
and Cultural Center. Andreen. Breez was Frances’ niece. She worked as a fill in person for
the one full-time employee and the chamber director. It wasn’t long
And moved again…..to a home in the Old West Wax after I started before Frances’ hours began to increase. After one year
Museum. she was working 30 to 40 hours a week. Two years later Frances was
working 40 hours and volunteering 5 to 20 hours per week. Gladly,
And even moved a third time….downtown to a little spot on without complaint. Dave was there as our go to guy.
Frances helped raise many fine young people who worked at the
Finally we returned to where it all began...our little A-Frame chamber, county, and then the wax museum. Like Miranda Bowen
building leading into the place known for the “Worlds and Kyle Braaten. She worked first with the County Museum and then
Largest Mineral Hot Springs.” This proved to be the place the Wax Museum staff to ensure that both businesses complimented
that we could serve our members, and take care of our many each other. She created a phone calling system to keep up to date with
visitors in the best possible way. On that note we would like all activities in the county. And she could find volunteers! Any time,
to say…”Welcome Home Thermopolis-Hot Springs for any thing. One day I overheard her on the phone, calling for Demo
Chamber of Commerce; Back to Where It All Began!” Derby wreckers. She says, “I’m calling back because I am two
wreckers short, so I do need you so don’t say no. Remember I know
what you did in high school! Good, then we’ll see you at 5 pm sharp”.
Frances kept the office organized, attractive and ready to serve all
who walked through the door. And, as my assistant, she kept things
straight for me while I was out of the office. Which, as Director I was
to learn, was quite often.
P.O. Box 768
Thermopolis, WY 82443
Address Service Requested
Bank of Wyoming
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Optional $2 50/50 drawing