Page 11 - Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce
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In 1970, dedicated attention and action by members of the Chamber addressed the growth and planning issues for the future. Members participated on the Advisory Committee for the Master
Plan of Bethesda-Chevy Chase, whose purpose was to guide the future direction of the BCC area for the next 20 years. The 1970s also saw the addition of 1,000 new parking spaces, 2.3 million square  Committees for Sector Plans for both the Friendship Heights CBD and the Bethesda CBD.
The 1980s saw growth and easy accessibility continue in Bethesda with the opening of the Bethesda Metro and the dedication of   maintenance and promotion for the Bethesda CBD, while the Urban Land Institute’s study on the area found that the essential elements of a good activity center were either in place or coming online. On that note, in 1987 Bethesda was home to 106 restaurants, 11 more than downtown Denver. But while we were growing and expanding, the Goodwill Dinner was founded to realize that not all members  area offered. This is an ongoing tradition today, with more than 20 community partners providing this annual holiday event.
The 1980s ended with a proactive move looking to the future, as the Chamber successfully lobbied to have a Georgetown Branch Master Plan Amendment put in place to gain a trolley/hiker/biker trail along the Georgetown Branch right-of-way. The vision: to transform an existing heavy rail line, built to move freight, into a light rail line, designed to move people.
"There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now."
— Eugene O'Neill
T 1990s
he community played an important role, not only in the past
decades but even more so in the 1990s. Chamber industry

of Bethesda. We published the BCC Uptown Washington, a brochure  presented a Locator Map for inclusion in the Community Guide. School outreach programs also continued to grow, with emphasis on increasing internships and participation in Career Partnership Day, as well as building and sustaining a community coalition for Bethesda- Chevy Chase High School.
Chamber members also led the efforts to privatize the Urban District, and the creation of Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) was accomplished. Transportation Management Districts also come to Bethesda and Friendship Heights CBDs, as well as the Bethesda 8, a diesel trolley bus that circulates Bethesda CBD with free rides.
oving into the 21st century brought many changes and
challenges to the Chamber and to the community. Advocacy

state levels, on issues such as smart growth, economic development, transportation (Purple Line/ICC, Montrose Parkway, dedicated funding for Metro) and quality of life. Other initiatives included
the Woodmont Triangle Sector Plan, Stage II development of the Bethesda CBD, building and upgrading parking garages, as well as advocating against increased taxes on businesses at the local and state levels.

country, community and businesses — from 9/11 to the “Beltway Sniper” attacks to the Great Recession and the resulting loss and/
or decline of business during that time. The Chamber stepped up by focusing on marketing our members and working to provide as much visibility and connections for them as possible.
D most visible changes to the landscape of the Greater Bethesda area. The Pike District (White Flint/North Bethesda) and downtown
Bethesda — especially Woodmont Triangle — haven’t see as many cranes and buildings being built here since the boom of the 1980s.
Focusing on providing the best return on our members’ investment through new programs and activities resulted in a comprehensive strategic plan. An updated and concentrated direction for the chamber includes a new name, new logo and branding initiatives to continue to move the chamber in the best possible position to serve the needs of business and the community in the future.
“You invoke a new future when you envision your past in the light of your present.”
— Eric Michael Leventhal
2010s 2017–2018 | The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce Membership Directory 9

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