Forks Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcia Bingham and retiring Forks Information Center Manager Mike Gurling share a laugh during a retirement party held for Gurling on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 12 at JT's Sweet Stuffs.
Forks Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center Manager Mike Gurling is heading into retirement for the second time. Gurling retired from the National Park Service about eight years ago, serving as an interpretive guide and manager for Olympic National Park as his last post. He joined the Forks Chamber of Commerce on a part-time basis just prior to the explosion of national and international interest in Forks and the West End due to the "Twilight" book and film phenomenon. Gurling along with Forks Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcia Bingham organized and created the Chamber's programs that provide information to visiting Twilight fans. He launched, and initially drove visitors on, the first Twilight tours of Forks using the Chamber's Logging Tours van. Bingham and Gurling led the effort in creating the Stephenie Meyer Day-Bella's Birthday celebration, beginning in 2007. Tens of thousands of Twilight fans have signed in the Chamber's guest book since the Twilight craze began. Gurling has also fields hundreds if not thousands of media and fan requests on specific Twilight questions, in addition to the regular Twilight mailings the Chamber sends out.