Whenever a new business opens in Ashland and there's a ribbon to be cut, the green jackets come out in full force, wielding their giant scissors.

The Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors in their green jackets did double duty on Thursday, celebrating the grand opening of the Lotus Springs Guest Loft at 9 a.m. and dedicating the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory expansion at 10.

That's the most demand the giant scissors have seen in one day, said Ambassador Steve Gervais.

"It kind of goes in spurts," he said. "We had several back in the spring. You don't get that many businesses opening in the summer. Now coming into fall we're getting a few more."

There are 15 official volunteer ambassadors now, and they have done about 12 ribbon-cuttings so far this year, said Maria DelCastillo, who chairs the program. They perform their service free of charge, and their only requirement is that the owner is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

In some cases, the business owners don't even have to request the presence of the green jackets. Jeni Ambrose, the owner of Lotus Spring Guest Loft, didn't know the service was available until she got a phone call from DelCastillo.

"It was really nice to hear from them," said Ambrose, who just moved from Phoenix, Ariz., a year and a half ago. "I never had that kind of reception from our local Chamber of Commerce back in Phoenix."

DelCastillo, who owns a staffing company in Medford, is a member of the Medford and Grants Pass chambers in addition to Ashland's. Medford's ambassadors wear red and Grants Pass members wear blue, but DelCastillo said there's something special about Ashland's green.

"In Ashland, it really is genuine," she said.

As ambassadors and guests toured Ambrose's guest loft, they traded tips and looked for opportunities, offering spa brochures for the loft and advice for marketing a new business.

"It's the best time to see the best of people, because they're excited about their new business, and we're excited to be part of it," said Ambassador Bob Goldberg.

Although ribbon cuttings usually have just the owner and a few friends, the wildlife forensics lab dedication had more than 100 people and speeches from U.S. Rep. Greg Walden and Mayor John Morrison.

The chamber ambassadors were needed just the same.

"Cutting a ribbon is a little bit beyond us, so we've asked the chamber to help us with that," joked Laboratory Director Ken Goddard in his speech.

With a bit of instruction from DelCastillo, Walden made the first snip after three attempts, proving that the scissors really do cut.

"This is why I like this," she said. "I got to boss the congressman around. How many people do you know that get to do that?"

The ambassadors have a full schedule ahead of them, with upcoming ribbon-cuttings at Main Street Tours next week and Mistletoe Storage in September.

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