A committee of 10 is readying the new Harbor Info Center at the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. To open officially on June 8, the center will be in the former East Hampton Town annex in an attached section of the chamber building on Main Street.
“New visitors don’t necessarily think of the chamber as a source of information,” Laraine Creegan, the group’s executive director, said. This is something chamber officials want to emphasize. “It’s not just a business center,” she said. “But we’re still a chamber of commerce.”
The information center has been spruced up, and its walls are now lined with plexiglass racks that hold pictures of businesses at the docks. There is a section for brochures, charter boat schedules, and restaurant menus. A business must be a chamber member to use a space.
A big-screen television runs a streaming video of the good old fishing days, the dock area, and marinas. Trophy fish and decorative fishing poles are mounted on the upper portion of the walls. A large window has been added to the front of the annex, and it will soon feature a decal that says, “Discover the Harbor.”
On an entry wall will be a daily posting to notify visitors of water conditions and temperatures, other weather tidbits, what fish are running, and safety rules for boaters.
“We’re bringing the chamber back to what it was about 50 years ago, when it was a fishing-type organization,” said Carl Darenberg, a chamber member and the owner of the Montauk Marine Basin. He said that when the chamber was first built the focus was on the harbor area, which has received little attention in recent years as Montauk has become more of a surfing mecca.
“This is a wonderful addition,” said Paul Fleming, who wandered in during a sneak peek on Monday. “You know Montauk used to be all about the fishing and the boats. This is something that you can really use again,” he said.
In another effort to rejuvenate the harbor area, the chamber will be sponsoring three new summer concerts this year on the green at Gosman’s Dock. Dates and times are to be announced.