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Business After Hours Brings Out Partnerships to Better Oyster Bay

The Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce held their July 28 Business After Hours at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum train yard. It was another of the hot muggy nights this season has been giving us, but it was a great night out for networking, as Chamber President Michele Browner observed. She thanked the OBRM for hosting the event which is at a different location each time, to give chamber members a chance to visit other venues in town. She also mentioned the Spend A Day In Oyster Bay! program which is available at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum Preview Center.

Ms. Browner, in her working life, is an RN, BSN, and is the Administrator and Director of Nursing for Harbor House Assisted Living in Oyster Bay. She gives the chamber a great deal of her free time. She said they are taking a break in the Business After Hours for August but in September they will be returning to State Bank of Long Island - Sept. 29 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Additionally, President Browner said, “A new marketing tool has been created by the chamber for chamber members. It is a coupon book that is available at local destinations – such as Buckingham’s Variety Store; and it will be given out at Cruise Nights – Tuesdays in Oyster Bay.

“It offers discounts from local vendors. It’s a convenient size to hold, about the size of a dollar bill. It’s a great way to thank our customers and to welcome new ones,” she said.

A Visitor’s Center

OBRM President John Specce also talked to the group about the Spend A Day In Oyster Bay! initiative. Mr. Specce said the project began as the OBRM brought together the various stakeholders.

“We always thought of the museum not only as a museum, but as a Visitor’s Center. We met in the early spring with representatives of the various groups involved including Tom Ross, superintendent of Sagamore Hill; Isaac Kremer, Main Street Association executive director; Bill Von Novak of the Oyster Bay Civic Association; Ralph Fumante of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center; and representatives of Raynham Hall, the Earle Wightman House and others who would be involved.

“The purpose was to try to bring together all the people who have been saying what a great place Oyster Bay is to spend the day. It was something the museum had thought about but it is a shared project. All the attractions, including the WaterFront Center, Youngs Cemetery and TR Park are the focus of the Spend a Day in Oyster Bay program.

“In addition, the chamber got the merchants to put together coupons for the visitors.

“Unfortunately, this year the project was completed too late for Oyster Bay to be included into the LIRR day package information. They have day trips to Patchogue and Sayville and Old Westbury Gardens that bring people out to Long Island to enjoy the attractions.

“Next year we will make sure we are included,” he said.

“We have been promoting the OBRM in Mineola, Glen Cove, Hicksville and Oyster Bay and are promoting it on our Website. Hopefully the other organizations have been promoting it on their Websites too,” said Mr. Specce.

“So when people come to Oyster Bay, during the weekends, the OBRM Preview Center at 102 Audrey Avenue is open. We do not have the staffing to be open on weekdays. But if people come by boat or train, Oyster Rides (922-2222) is available to take them to local areas of interest. There is a flat fee for one day shuttle service in Oyster Bay. For adults the fee is $15; for children 8 to 18 it is $8; and for those under 8 it is $3.

“The car gives you some freedom to come and go. If you go to Sagamore Hill it is $10 one way. Here, you get off and when ready to go on to the next spot, you call on your cell phone and they pick you up. [It is similar to using a car service in Manhattan where you call the driver on your cell phone when you want them.]

“The package also has information on eating establishments and locations and brochures of the local attractions in town.” said Mr. Specce.

Spend a Day in Oyster Bay!

And, yes, The Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce does have information about the program on their Website: visitoysterbay.com. It states:

“During the summer months of July and August, the hamlet of Oyster Bay is welcoming visitors to experience its pristine harbor and waterfront, area attractions, fine eating establishments, art galleries, boutiques and unique historical buildings.

“The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum’s Preview Center is open between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays. There is no fee but visitors are welcome to make a donation for the ongoing work of creating the museum.

“There, visitors can pick up the Spend a Day in Oyster Bay welcome packet which includes important information and valuable coupons for restaurants and shops.

“For those arriving in Oyster Bay by railroad, boat or other means of transportation, Oyster Rides, a local livery company, can provide transportation for a fee in their clean mini-vans to popular area attractions such as Sagamore Hill, Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center, Planting Fields Arboretum and the Oyster Bay Waterfront Center. There is also a self-guided walking tour of the hamlet available, highlighting the Raynham Hall Museum and the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s Wightman House.

“A visit to Canterbury’s Oyster Bar on Audrey Avenue has a collection of photographs of President Theodore Roosevelt as well as a wall of OBRM railroad art.

“The Chamber of Commerce encourages people to take time to stroll the hamlet’s streets and visit the many fine shops and restaurants that are scattered throughout the downtown area. During the boating season, a great destination is Oyster Bay Harbor, described as one of the prettiest harbors along the East Coast. Mooring and docking space is readily available so come ashore, stretch your legs, re-supply and enjoy!

“The Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce works hard in fulfilling its mission to promote commerce and the common good and welfare of the Hamlets of Oyster Bay, and East Norwich. By working cooperatively with area organizations and our elected officials we strive to ensure a successful future for our hamlet and our members.

“The Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce
 serves Oyster Bay and East Norwich. Call 922-6464 for more information,” the Website concludes.

Currently the chamber’s Website: visitoysterbay.com has information for local merchants who want to take part in the Oyster Festival area organized by the chamber.

Volunteers Do the Work

And as for what the OBRM guys are doing this summer, Mr. Specce said, “With the summer heat – the guys are keeping out of the heat. It is brutal and just bakes down on them. We are fortunate they do what they do and will do as the weather cools off.”

Look at the photographs of the equipment at the OBRM rail yard and know that all the work to restore – everything – was done and is being done by the OBRM volunteers.