GRAND LAKE - Just in time for a possible surge in "Grand Lake" searches after national exposure on the Travel Channel show "Hotel Impossible" on Monday night, the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce's new website went live for the first time on Friday.
The site is meant to present a simplified, uncluttered home page with a larger display of rotating photographs for today's large monitors, according to the site's designer owner of O2 Creative in Winter Park Eric VanHerwaarden.
"I like that's it's clean and not really cluttered," he said.
VanHerwaarden, who designed the chamber's previous website about five years ago, said that site had outgrown its use and, given the technology available at the time of its creation, was labor intensive for chamber staff.
"The way I used to do websites has changed so much from five years ago," he said.
The new site integrates the member management system ChamberMaster, which the chamber contracts on an annual basis to grant chamber members the ability to access the website to upload their own job postings, hot deals and discounts.
"It helps the chamber members help themselves more," said Grand Lake Chamber Members Director Kacey Beres, who has worked with ChamberMaster before. "It takes more off of the staff's plate," she said, allowing more time to focus on other member services and member recruitment rather than always updating content.
According to VanHerwaarden, the site also uses the content management system WordPress, allowing the chamber to make feature changes on the site as necessary rather than have to contact a web designer each time for changes. And, "as time goes on, the chamber can keep updating and customizing rather than do a huge overhaul," VanHerwaarden said.
Among the site's new features, users can plan their trip and book a room in town.
As with any new website, there are still bugs to work out, Beres and VanHerwaarden conceded, which they will be rectifying in the coming weeks.
"Hopefully it will make the members happy and grow their membership," VanHerwaarden said.
A grant from the Grand County Tourism Board helped pay for the new site.