JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — After years of planning, the project to put a visitors center in Johnson City is starting to come together.
Executive Director of Visit Johnson City Brenda Whitson said about $889,000 has been put towards this project.
Whitson said the center’s goal is to provide an interactive sneak peek into what Johnson City has to offer.
“And to build a brand new first-class visitor’s center that was more than just a place where you would want to come and pick up a brochure, do a potty stop, or ‘I’m going to pick up a little swag’,” she said. “We’ll be all those things, but we will be so much more.”
Whitson said the visitors center’s design aims to capture Johnson City’s attractions in many different ways. An area in the middle of the facility will show Johnson City through all four seasons. A “selfie area” will allow you to be in any location. A topographical map will show area attractions, and all will be computer-generated.
A wall will be dedicated to capturing the area’s history.
Shannon Castillo was chair of the Johnson City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau during the planning process and said she believes capturing the city’s history is important.
“The fact that we can restore one of our depots and use it for something even better helps the rest of our city,” said Castillo. “If you can keep your heart strong, then the rest of your city’s going to be strong too.”
Whitson said the project should be complete by Nov. 1, well ahead of Candyland Christmas.
She added that they hope to work with area schools to provide the visitors center as a field trip destination.