Keith Martin: despite challenges, chamber remains strong

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Keith Martin accepts a "Star Trek" transporter from chamber President and CEO Carol Everhart. The device was inscribed to "Captain Keith." BY DENY HOWETH
February 10, 2014

For the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, 2013 got off to a bit of a rocky start, but thanks to the busiest summer in the organization’s history, the ride had a very safe landing.

In his state of the chamber address, Keith Martin of Hotel Rehoboth, elected chairman for a second year in a row, said the first five months of 2013 were tough as the region was still dealing with the hangover of Hurricane Sandy and a weak economic forecast. A cool, rainy spring also took a bite out of early year business, he said.

But when summer arrived, so did visitors in record numbers, Martin said. He said the chamber reported record revenues, serving over 1,000 members. Martin said 6 million visitors came to the area in 2013.

In addition to a great summer, he said, this year’s Seawitch Festival was also a high point for the chamber, drawing record crowds after hurricanes had washed out parts of the three-day festival for the past two years.

“Our focus is simple: we need our chamber members to have continued financial success. The better you do, the better we do,” Martin said.

Finally, Martin thanked the chamber staff and offered words of encouragement for 2014.

“They are all working hard and working together for all of you to create a positive and impactful business climate,” he said. “The chamber is committed to your success and we look forward to a prosperous 2014.”

Martin’s speech was concluded with a gift from President and CEO Carol Everhart: a “Star Trek” transporter inscribed to “Captain Keith.”