(Portello | Photo by Ronni Wilde)
VisitNWX is a newly formed business association that’s mission is to serve NorthWest Crossing’s fast-growing business district. The association will continue to build upon the work conducted by developer West Bend Property Company to enhance and promote economic development for NorthWest Crossing businesses, advocate for existing and future businesses and organize community events for the surrounding neighborhood.
“As a business owner in NorthWest Crossing, I strongly believe in the great opportunity this community offers in building a successful future,” said Cassie Clemans, owner of Roundabout Books and VisitNWX president. “I am grateful to be working alongside so many inspiring NWX business leaders toward a collaborative vision that promotes and celebrates the vibrant and growing community of NorthWest Crossing. We are committed to advocating on behalf of our member businesses, creating and promoting events and communicating with our local residents.”
Clemans said that the association was formed as West Bend Property Company wound down its development of the area. “They had been managing it all for the past 15 years and were ready to pass it along. They reached out to the business owners and managers in NWX who they thought would want to be involved, and we started meeting once a month in 2018.” The attendees who were committed eventually formed the board of VisitNWX, and it grew from there. Bylaws were created, and in September and October of 2019, committee chairs were voted in and board officers were elected.
Then, in December 2019, VisitNWX conducted its first big event: the Christmas Tree Lighting. “The tree lighting was the most pressing thing, and after we got through 2019, our January 2020 board meeting was focused on brainstorming projects for VisitNWX in 2020,” said Clemans.
Other NorthWest Crossing business representatives serving on the board include Vice President Amy Renalds of Hydro Flask; Secretary Angela Dietrich of Cosa Cura; Treasurer Julia Brooks of Peach Pilates; and Member-At-Large Deby Grant of Sage School of Massage and Esthetics.
The two big areas of focus for now, Clemans said, are supporting member businesses with networking and advertising opportunities, and communicating with the residents through the monthly newsletter and community calendar on the website. “Our long-term goal is more community events, like a summer event similar to the tree lighting,” she said. “But right now, we are focusing on building our membership, and creating brand development for the business district of NorthWest Crossing. The association will also indirectly support events that take place in and around NorthWest Crossing but are conducted by outside agencies — like the Bend Marathon and the Farmer’s Market — by helping in notifying residents about street closures and traffic issues.
So far, Clemans said the association has been well received. It has 34 businesses that have joined, with about ten more in the process of joining. “It’s been a really great start,” she said. “We’ve got great support from local businesses, and good participation. People are showing up to the meetings and wanting to help out.”
VisitNWX has three levels of membership, with varying benefits that include an online business directory, the opportunity to be featured on the community event calendar and in the resident newsletter, networking events, group advertising opportunities, employee discounts and more.
“We have spent over a year getting the business association off the ground, because we believe in it and we know the time is right,” said Amy Renalds, executive assistant at HydroFlask and VisitNWX vice president. “The landscape in NWX is changing every day with new businesses popping up and many others breaking ground. We know that we can offer the business community an opportunity to showcase their business, as well as offer benefits not just for the residents, but the hundreds of employees who work, shop and dine in NWX. We are so excited at the momentum and the enthusiastic welcome and buy-in.”
Clemans added, “The organization is evolving and growing. The best way to stay in touch is to sign up for the newsletter on our website. We are looking forward to working together with NorthWest Crossing businesses to continue promoting the great energy and community here.”