Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Press Page

Mystic Chamber Announcements

Mystic Outdoor Art Festival New Route for 2021

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that the 2021 Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, will take place on August 14th and August 15th. With no Art Festival last year due to the pandemic, the Greater Mystic Chamber and the Community see MOAF as the first big event to take place as we emerge from the pandemic. In recognizing this as such, the safety of our guests, artists and community is our number one priority.

We have some exciting new changes to announce for this year’s festival, including a change to the show route. The new route will be entirely on the Stonington side of the bridge and will extend the length of the Mystic River from Cottrell Street, to Holmes, Bay Street into the Seaport Museum Shipyard. We are confident that this new layout will make for a safer show with an improved ease of set up/breakdown, more parking options, and an improved pedestrian flow. We are thankful for the Mystic Seaport Museum for opening their grounds for this event! We will have booths inside the Museum shipyard where we have also moved our Children’s Art Park. There will be a continuous, natural, safe route with convenient parking at the Seaport Museum.

Safety is our number one priority and this new route takes the Art Festival off Route 1, which we know will lessen the congestion downtown and allow improved safety for the artists, pedestrians and cars.

Furthermore, the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival is adding a performing arts stage at the Mystic Seaport Museum. The stage will feature a variety of the arts from spoken word to dance and more, beginning at 6:30pm on both Friday, August 13th and Saturday, August 14th. In keeping with our mission to promote arts and culture in the greater Mystic area, the Performing Arts Stage in the Seaport will be open to all visitors and there will be no admission to attend.

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers for the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival and the performing arts component of the Art Festival.

If interested in volunteering, please call the office at (860) 572-9578, email us at or visit us in person at 22 East Main Street above HJ Smith Plumbing.

GMCC Member Webinar with Ledge Light Health District

Topic: Covid-19 Updates: Data, Testing, Vaccines

March 10, 2021 @ 2:00 pm

Stephen Mansfield, Executive Director of Ledge Light Health District, will give an update for SE CT with respect to the pandemic including the latest data, and testing and vaccination information This is a unique opportunity for members to have direct access to the Health District Director.

Promoting Healthy Communities

Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) is the local health department for East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Lyme, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Stonington, and Waterford, Connecticut. From restaurant inspections to smoking cessation classes, we work hard to promote healthy communities and prevent disease, illness, and injury.

Collaboration is a cornerstone of our work – we pursue our mission by partnering with our colleagues in our member municipalities, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, local school districts and numerous community agencies. Most importantly, we grow our work through the feedback and involvement of the community residents we serve. We can’t fulfill our promise to the community – to promote healthy communities and ensure healthy opportunities are in reach for everyone – without the help of community residents. So pull up a chair and get to know us – and then consider being part of our promise.

Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Announces New Board Members, Office Move

At the annual meeting last week five new Board Members were welcomed and a move to a new office was announced

Mystic, Conn. (January 15, 2021) – At the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting held January 7 via ZOOM, the agenda was focused on the effects COVID has had on the organization in 2020, and how the Chamber will navigate 2021 and beyond.

A recent letter to all members recounted how the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce has served the business community for over 80 years. “We have always encouraged economic development and provided events that fuel our tourism economy, but realized we need to place a renewed focus on our members.” This begins with a newly created document outlining member benefits.

At the January 7th meeting the Board welcomed 5 new members who bring a wealth of knowledge from several different business areas: Sheri Cote (SECTER), Megan Smith (Explore Shoreline CT), Bonnie Pollard-Johnson (Academy Point), Alissa Young (Atlantic Broadband) and Jeff Anderson (Kelly’s Pace).

From the meeting, it is evident that change is happening. First and foremost, the Chamber’s Executive Board will initiate a search for a new President to replace Peggy Roberts, who resigned at the beginning of December. Equally as big, is a move of the Welcome Center from Greenmanville Avenue to the second floor of 22 East Main Street, in the heart of Downtown Mystic. The new office will open in February and allow the Chamber to allocate more funds to ensure Member success. HJ Smith Plumbing has generously offered the Chamber a home where they can restructure, reset and move forward with less of a financial burden.

Bruce Flax, interim director at the Chamber said “this is a turning point for the Greater Mystic Chamber. COVID has been an overwhelming challenge to Mystic business and the Chamber, but we are confident we will emerge from the crisis stronger.” He went on to say “The Board and Chamber Staff are prepared to work with our Members and Community Leaders to forge a successful path for the upcoming year, and for years to come.”

About Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce serves as the business voice for Groton, Stonington and Mystic. They sponsor and facilitate community events, promotion for local business and for the regional tourism industry, resources for small business owners, opportunities to get involved with the community, and advocacy in the government of our towns.

Media Contacts: Bruce Flax/ Interim Director – GMCC

C: (860) 389-0929 |

Facebook: @mysticchamber | Instagram: @mysticchamber | Twitter: @mysticchamber

Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Announces 2020 Tourism Award Winners

Dr. Stephen M. Coan and Stefan Ambrosch to be recognized as 2020 winners of Joyce Olson Resnikoff Tourism Award

Mystic, Conn. (December 23, 2020) – Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and C.E.O. of the Mystic Aquarium, and Stefan Ambrosch, owner of Deviant Donuts and Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. in Olde Mistick Village, were today announced to be the 2020 awardees of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce’s Joyce Olson Resnikoff Award for Tourism. This award has recognizes Mystic tourism businesses who embody the values of community, growth and opportunity creation.

“I think this award is a great opportunity to honor people who have done a great deal in our community and industry,” said Joyce Resnikoff, creator of Olde Mistick Village. “This year we are recognizing two extraordinary people with the award. Stephen Coan and Stefan Ambrosch both set an example of the power tourism has to attract people and encourage business.”

The Joyce Olson Resnikoff tourism award was created to recognize business owners and people who support, grow and nurture southeastern Connecticut’s tourism economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Olde Mistick Village and Mystic Aquarium have worked to support local businesses and create new opportunities for families and the Mystic Community.

“Southeastern Connecticut tourism has been through difficult times in the past, but no one could have prepared for the blindside brought on by COVID-19. Both of the award winners have shown true leadership and ingenuity in navigating through this,” said Bruce Flax, chairman of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce board of directors. “Stephen Coan recognized the Aquarium’s situation was unsustainable and a financial restructuring was necessary to survive the pandemic, and he worked with the state to stabilize the finances and keep its doors open. Stefan Ambrosch adjusted his business and created a demand for Deviant Donuts and an appetite for Mango's Pizza that maintains Mystic as a tourist and foodie destination, even through the pandemic.”

About Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce serves as the business voice for Groton, Stonington and Mystic. They sponsor and facilitate community events, promotion for local business and for the regional tourism industry, resources for small business owners, opportunities to get involved with the community, and advocacy in the government of our towns.

Facebook: @mysticchamber | Instagram: @mysticchamber | Twitter: @mysticchamber

Media Contacts:

James McKinsey (Quinn & Hary / Regan Communications)

O: 860-444-0448 x17 C: 914-420-0604 |

Mystic Chamber's Party of 12 Fundraiser

December 10, 2020

Dear Friends,

I know through your previous support, you join me in realizing the importance of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce. As a conduit in the community bringing together tourists, residents, businesses and ultimately economic development, it’s hard to imagine the losses and missed opportunities that Mystic, the Chamber and its members would incur without the strong advocacy and support from the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce.

Unfortunately, those losses and missed opportunities were seen first-hand this year with the cancelation of the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, the Mystic Lighted Boat Parade, the Groton Fall Festival and dozens of other community focused efforts brought by the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce. These events sustain the Chamber as a valuable resource that impacts the Mystic economy and so many individuals and businesses throughout the region. In the state and really New England, Mystic is a top tourist destination.

We hope you fondly remember our 2019 annual gala and how it was reimagined into The Party of Twelve with over 250 in attendance while grossing $46,639. Don’t worry that’s coming back in 2021 too.

The Chamber has worked hard for the members by creating a social media program that utilized the current State of CT tag line – So Good to See You In Mystic. We are seeing great social numbers with our Facebook and Instagram posts, attracting tourists from the day trip-travel-close areas of Westchester County, Western Massachusetts and Fairfield County. We are $6,500 from our goal to receive the state matching funds we have already secured.

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce has served the community on both sides of the Mystic River for Decades and we have every intention of continuing those efforts for years to come. Despite the challenges brought by this Covid year, we are looking forward, and anticipate getting back to a normal (sometime) in 2021. In the meantime we want to continue our efforts to support the Mystic Chamber and its 730 Members, and we need your help. Our goal for this year’s Party of 12 is to match the funding of last year’s Party of Twelve.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Please consider giving the cost to attend last year’s Party of 12 Event, which was $112 per person.

  2. We know $112 may be a stretch for some individuals, but you can still help. Please consider a donation of $50 each.

  3. If you work for, own or know of a business that is in the position to provide support during this time, please let me know and I will reach out to them about a corporate donation or sponsorship.

We know there is a lot of giving going on right now, but we also know “giving makes you rich with happiness”. Your support is greatly needed and appreciated. We are looking forward to providing for Mystic, our members and the Community in 2021 and beyond. DONATE NOW.


Bruce Flax

Chairman of the Board