BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Bristol, Tennessee City Council approved a lease agreement with Explore Bristol for the parcels of land near the Wes Davis Greenway Trailhead on the intersection of Volunteer Parkway and Anderson Street on Tuesday.
The land will be used for a 2,400-square-foot visitor center.
Matt Bolas, Executive Director of Explore Bristol, said the visitor’s center will be a place for people to learn about the many attractions that the Bristol community has to offer. Including the hotels, the downtown area, Bristol Motor Speedway, the Bristol Casino: The Future Home of Hard Rock, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, outdoor recreation, The Pinnacle and much more.
“It does look and resemble like a train station to tie into the theme that is down there and to be a nod to our train history, which is very rich,” said Bolas. “It’s kind of how Bristol was established was through the train systems in the 1850s, 1860s.”
Bolas said the visitor center is part of a long-range plan to enhance and elevate tourism.
“Specifically a visitor center that has hours that on weekends, that has displays and screens, a video, brochures, different things that visitors can come to our town and learn more about,” said Bolas.
Kelli Bourgeois, Bristol Tennessee City Manager, said it’s the perfect location right off State Street for people to find information about Bristol.
“To have this visitor center and have people know exactly where they should go to find out the best places to hike, the best places to eat, the best events to go to, it’s a great opportunity for us to expand and bring our tourism to the next level,” said Bourgeois.
Bolas said they work with economic development in both cities to draw people to Bristol through their advertising.
“We try to create through our social channels, through websites, through brochures, try to create excitement for people to visit spend their money,” said Bolas. “And that elevates the tax base and the tax base and the quality of life for all of our community.”
Bolas said Explore Bristol is already launching marketing campaigns for fall foliage and Christmas.