On September 30 one door will close and another will open. Arrow Lakes News is on the move. Anyone walking past the newspaper office may have noticed the “For Rent” sign on the door; the large office suite is being vacated because it’s just too big for the two-person staff occupying it.
The pending move is part of the paper’s revitalization. New publisher Chuck Bennett took over last spring and set about evaluating all aspects of the small town news office, from staffing to location. A move made a lot of sense based on square footage, with too much of it empty.
“I thought this (the current) building wasn’t the right fit — too big, with a lot of empty space. Downsizing made sense to me. We needed a smaller office; one of the challenges of an office that’s too big is that it creates an empty feel,” Bennett said in an interview.
The search began for a new location. On the wish list was an accessibility ramp, ample parking and size to better accommodate the staff of one full time and one part time employee. Bennett decided on the former Columbia Cable building at 89 First Avenue NE.
The revitalization has also included reopening the office to walk-in traffic between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday to Friday and changes to staff as well. Locals can again drop in for subscription renewals, classified or business ad placements, and newspaper sales. People who want to come by in person with a story lead or to buy paper bundles are invited to do so. They will be greeted by the cheery smile of Chantelle Carter in the Sales Associate/Office Manager position.
Arrow Lakes News has had its challenges as part of the community, however things are about to change. Bennett looks forward to reviving and renewing community ties.
“A smaller office allows us to be vibrant. We don’t need to be on Main Street to do that,” said Bennett. “We want to be dynamic and part of the community and I want to revive that. We are a local business and rely on local customers. It is a positive move for the paper.”